March 19, 2015
Senate and House Budgets Offer Two Visions for Civilian Global Engagement
USGLC Urges Congress to Keep Pace with Growing Threats and Crises
Washington, D.C. – The FY16 budget resolutions unveiled yesterday in the Senate and the House differ significantly in their funding recommendations for the International Affairs Budget, with the House making deep cuts and the Senate largely maintaining current funding, said the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition (USGLC).
“An indispensable part of our national security toolkit is foreign aid; it’s one of the vital means for keeping our nation safe,” said General Anthony Zinni, Co-Chair of USGLC’s National Security Advisory Council. “Military and non-military tools like development and diplomacy programs are essential in the tackling the threats we face from Boko Haram to ISIS.”
“To generate economic growth here at home, we need these International Affairs tools to help U.S. businesses tap into new and emerging markets, said Bill Lane, USGLC Co-President and Global Government Affairs Director of Caterpillar. “It’s these markets in developing countries that are the fastest-growing and that will be engines for U.S. economy.”
“It’s imperative that we avoid further budget cuts to these programs,” said Liz Schrayer, President & CEO. “Given the growing security threats and humanitarian crises throughout the world, now is not the time to diminishing America’s ability to respond, not to mention building on the important achievements we’ve made in fighting disease, fostering democratic values, and creating new trading partners overseas.”
The House budget resolution provides a total of $42.9 billion, including $38.9 billion in base funding and $4 billion for Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO). This represents a cut of 6.5 percent to base funding levels and a 16 percent cut to combined base and OCO, bringing base funding 22 percent below fiscal year 2010 levels. The Senate budget resolution, by contrast, provides a total of $48.3 billion for the International Affairs Budget, including $41.3 billion in base funding and $7 billion for OCO. This is a 1% decrease to base funding and a 5% (-$2.5 billion) cut to combined base and OCO.
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, military, and community leaders in all 50 states who support strategic investments to elevate development and diplomacy alongside defense in order to build a better, safer world.