May 9, 2007

Record-setting Senate Majority Calls for Unprecedented $39.8B for International Affairs Budget

May 9, 2007

55 Senators Encourage Full Funding for Diplomatic & International Development Programs

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the U.S. Global Leadership Campaign (USGLC) praises a record-setting call by a bipartisan coalition of 55 United States Senators to fully fund the U.S. International Affairs Budget at an unprecedented $39.8 billion.

“We applaud the 55 Senators for their extraordinary leadership and commitment to a fully funded, robust International Affairs Budget,” said George Ingram, President of the USGLC. “Representing a historic level of support, this broad, bipartisan coalition of Senate champions truly understands the critical importance of U.S. global engagement to our national security, economic competitiveness, and humanitarian values.”

Led by Senators Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Chuck Hagel (R-NE), Richard Durbin (D-IL), Gordon Smith (R-OR), Christopher Dodd (D-CT) and Norm Coleman (R-MN), 55 Senators are on record in a letter urging the Appropriations Committee Chairman Robert Byrd (D-WV) and Ranking Member Thad Cochran (R-MS) to support the full allocation of $39.8 billion for the International Affairs Budget as approved in the Senate Budget Resolution and requested by the Administration.

“There is widespread, bipartisan support in the Senate for increasing U.S. investments in international programs,” Senator Feinstein said. “International diplomatic and humanitarian programs are essential to building global stability and meeting the complex, global challenges that our nation faces today. Foreign assistance programs are not only critical to national security interests, they also promote the humanitarian values we cherish and generate economic prosperity at home and abroad.”

In response to the growing significance of our international programs, the Administration classified the International Affairs Budget as part of the “security fund” alongside the Defense and Homeland Security budgets. For just 1.2 percent of the federal budget, these tools provide America with countless opportunities to generate much needed allies and advance our national interests.

“With markets becoming increasingly global, export promotion initiatives supported by the International Affairs Budget benefit all Americans by providing business opportunities that create American jobs through increased exports of American goods and services,” Senator Hagel said.

“In business, we appreciate the importance of leadership and results. Today, 55 Senators demonstrated leadership by speaking as one in support of the International Affairs Budget. It is now time to translate that call into results.” added Bill Lane, Caterpillar’s Washington Director for Governmental Affairs. “Together, the business and NGO communities are following the lead of these Senators and urging the entire Congress to fully support the International Affairs Budget.”

“We are pleased that a significant majority of the Senate – led by these six committed Senators – has gone on record supporting increased funding for U.S. humanitarian and development programs that improve the lives of millions of children and families around the globe,” noted, Ken Hackett, President of Catholic Relief Services.

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 humanitarian values. For more information, visit