March 7, 2008
U.S. Global Leadership Campaign disappointed by $4.1 billion cut
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, leaders of the U.S. Global Leadership Campaign (USGLC) expressed strong disappointment in the Senate Budget Committee for approving a $4.1 billion or 10 percent cut from the Administration’s $39.8 billion request for the FY09 International Affairs Budget, the largest percentage cut of any federal program in the Budget Resolution. The International Affairs Budget funds essential programs that support America’s engagement with the world, protects our national security, promotes economic prosperity, and demonstrates America’s humanitarian values.
“We believe that the Administration’s request for $39.8 billion for the International Affairs Budget was the bare minimum needed to meet America’s national security and foreign policy challenges. We are astonished that the Senate Budget Committee wants to cut this critical funding,” said Bill Lane, Co-President of the U.S. Global Leadership Campaign. “We sincerely hope and will urge that as the process moves forward, Congress will restore funding for these essential International Affairs programs.”
“The requested increase represents a mere 0.18% of the entire Federal Budget, and is critical to funding U.S. diplomatic, humanitarian and development programs that combat HIV/AIDS and malaria, support fragile states, promote U.S. business interests and economic opportunities, and save millions of lives around the globe,” stated Nancy Lindborg, Co-President of the U.S. Global Leadership Campaign. “Cuts to International Affairs programs will reduce America’s capacity to effectively engage the world.”
This cut by the Senate Budget Committee represents the largest reduction in the Administration’s request for the International Affairs Budget in a decade. It also sets the FY09 International Affairs Budget below the present enacted level of $36.7 billion. In comparison, the House Budget Committee approved $38.3 billion for the International Affairs Budget. While this is $1.5 billion below the President’s request, it still represents a $4 billion increase over FY08 spending, a significant increase given the considerable budget pressures faced by Congress.
Bipartisan support for the International Affairs Budget remains strong as 186 Members of Congress, 61 Senators and 125 Representatives, sent letters to President Bush urging an increase in International Affairs funding. The U.S. Global Leadership Campaign urges Congressional leaders to restore full funding for the International Affairs Budget at the Administration’s request of $39.8 billion.
About the U.S. Global Leadership Campaign
The U.S. Global Leadership Campaign (USGLC) is a broad-based, nationwide coalition of businesses, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and community leaders that advocates for a strong U.S. International Affairs Budget. Members of the USGLC – a vibrant, influential network of 400 organizations and thousands of individuals – engage policymakers in the nation’s capital and educate the public around the country to build support for these essential programs.
The International Affairs Budget provides America with the fundamental tools to meet the global challenges of the 21st century and is critical to protecting our national security, building economic prosperity and strengthening our humanitarian values. The International Affairs Budget provides the U.S. with invaluable opportunities to generate much needed allies, partners and friends. For additional information, visit www.usglc.org.
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