January 14, 2014

Omnibus Bill Step in the Right Direction for Sustaining American Engagement in the World but Gaps Remain

Washington, DC —The U.S. Global Leadership Coalition released this statement from Executive Director Liz Schrayer on the FY 2014 Omnibus Appropriations bill:

“We are grateful for the strong bipartisan leadership from House Appropriations Chair Hal Rogers (R-KY), Senate Appropriations Chair Barbara Mikulski (D-MD), and leaders from the State Foreign Operations subcommittees in working together to restore the appropriations process and ensure American engagement in the world remains a priority.

“While overall funding for the International Affairs Budget is a three percent cut over last year due to the draw down in the Frontline states, we are pleased that base funding for development and diplomacy programs received an increase in order to keep up with the expanding global challenges.

“At the same time, we are concerned that reductions to some specific accounts are not keeping pace with the growing needs to meet America’s economic and security interests.  America risks falling behind when we decrease our ability to leverage influence through international organizations, cut USAID operating funds critical to implementing essential reforms, lessen our commitment to development programs that can bring about necessary economic growth, or ignore our commitments to partners such as UN Peacekeeping efforts and the International Monetary Fund.”

The U.S. Global Leadership Coalition (www.usglc.org) is a broad-based influential network of 400 businesses and NGOs; national security and foreign policy experts; and business, faith-based, academic and community leaders in all 50 states who support a smart power approach of elevating development and diplomacy alongside defense in order to build a better, safer world.