February 5, 2007

U.S. Global Leadership Campaign Applauds FY 2008 International Affairs Budget Request

February 5, 2007

Nationwide Coalition of Community, Business, & NGO Leaders Calls on Congress to Continue Bi-Partisan Support for Development, Economic & Diplomatic Programs

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, members of the U.S. Global Leadership Campaign (USGLC) applauded the Administration for continuing their commitment to increase U.S. investment in America’s international diplomatic, economic and humanitarian programs as part of their FY 2008 Federal Budget request.

“We applaud the Administration for once again recognizing the importance of the International Affairs Budget in building global stability and fighting global poverty. This year’s budget request reflects the bi-partisan support that the Congress and the Administration have shown for these programs over the past few years,” said George Ingram, President of the U.S. Global Leadership Campaign.

Earlier today, the President submitted his FY 2008 Federal Budget request totaling $2.9 trillion dollars to Congress, including $36.19 billion for the International Affairs Budget. The request represents an 11% increase over the House passed FY2007 Continuing Resolution (2.5% with supplementals), marking the sixth consecutive year that the Administration has requested an increase for these critical programs. Put in perspective, the International Affairs Budget totals just 1.2 % of the overall FY08 Federal Budget.

“Soft power is needed now more than ever. For just a little more than 1% of the federal budget, the International Affairs Budget currently provides America with the tools it needs to meet the global challenges of the 21st century,” noted Bill Lane, Caterpillar Washington Director Governmental Affairs. “Now more than ever the U.S. business community recognizes that in today’s global environment, we cannot afford to shortchange our development, economic and diplomatic programs.”

Based on early reports that show significant cuts to key development programs, Ingram added “While encouraged by the overall increase, we are deeply concerned that investments in long term development programs are not keeping pace with our global needs and we have questions regarding the impact of funding shifts among accounts.” USGLC leaders have also raised concerns that new initiatives be funded with additional money and not at the expense of existing effective programs.

Pointing to the bipartisan congressional letter supported by a majority of the Senate, Nancy Lindborg, President of Mercy Corps stated “We urge Congress, in a bipartisan spirit, to support no less than the Administration’s International Affairs Budget request. Despite the requested increase, the funding for these programs remains dangerously low representing 17% less in real terms compared to the height of the Cold War.”

These global initiatives build markets for U.S. exports, provide for U.S. embassy personnel and security, and promote good governance practices that strengthen democracies. They also facilitate the formation of international coalitions, fund nonproliferation and anti-terrorism efforts, and help people around the globe build a future of hope and opportunity.

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. 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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