May 28, 2010

Nearly 40% of Senate Calls for Full Funding of International Affairs Budget

Senators Urge Colleagues to Support Development and Diplomacy

Washington, DC —Today a bipartisan group of 37 Senators—nearly 40% of the Senate—joined together in sending a letter to Senate Appropriators urging full funding of the President’s FY 11 International Affairs Budget request.  This is nearly triple the number of Senators who signed a similar letter last year.

“We urge you to allocate for the International Affairs Budget no less than $58.8 billion, the amount requested by the Obama Administration and in keeping with bipartisan calls from our nation’s foreign policy and military leaders to increase funding for development and diplomacy,” say the 37 Senators.

The bipartisan group of Senators — led by John Kerry (D-MA), Richard Lugar (R-IN), Christopher Bond (R-MO), Richard Durbin (D-IL), and Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) – calls upon Appropriations Committee Chairman Daniel Inouye (D-HI) and Ranking Member Thad Cochran (R-MS) to provide the President’s full $58.8 billion FY 11 request in the upcoming 302(b) appropriations allocations.

“This is an extraordinary show of bipartisan support for development and diplomacy, especially in such a tough fiscal environment,” said Liz Schrayer, USGLC Executive Director.  “We are hopeful Senate Appropriators will recognize how critical this small fraction of the federal budget is to our national and economic security and support these needed investments in America’s ‘smart power’ tools.”

The letter comes on the heels of other prominent calls to support the President’s full $58.8 billion International Affairs Budget request, including all former Secretaries of State, Joint Chiefs of Staff Chair Mike Mullen, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, and over 50 retired military officers who are members of the USGLC’s National Security Advisory Council.

Final List of Letter Signers:  Akaka (D-HI), Begich (D-AK), Bingaman (D-NM), Bond (R-MO), Boxer (D-CA), Brown (D-OH), Cardin (D-MD), Casey (D-PA), Collins (R-ME), Dodd (D-CT), Durbin (D-IL), Feinstein (D-CA), Franken (D-MN), Gillibrand (D-NY), Hagan (D-NC), Johanns (R-NE), Johnson (D-SD), Kaufman (D-DE), Kerry (D-MA), Klobuchar (D-MN), Landrieu (D-LA), Lautenberg (D-NJ), Leahy (D-VT) Levin (D-MI), Lieberman (I-CT), Lugar (R-IN), Mikulski (D-MD), Menendez (D-NJ), Merkley (D-OR), Sanders (I-VT), Shaheen (D-NH), Snowe (R-ME), Specter (D-PA), Udall (D-CO), Udall (D-NM), Whitehouse (D-RI), and Wyden (D-OR).