May 31, 2007
President Bush Delivers Address on International Development Assistance
WASHINGTON, D.C. – On May 31 President George W. Bush addressed members of the U.S. Global Leadership Campaign prior to his departure for the 33rd Annual G-8 Summit in Heiligendamm, Germany. Among the issues discussed by the President was the importance of the U.S. International Affairs Budget, particularly international development assistance.
“We applaud the President and Congress for recent funding increases for the International Affairs Budget that are essential to protecting our national security, building economic prosperity and strengthening America’s humanitarian values,” said George Ingram, President of the U.S. Global Leadership Campaign. “It is now time to further elevate the importance of diplomacy and development as integral components of our foreign policy and national security strategy. America is facing its greatest global challenges since the end of the Cold War and we need to utilize our full range of foreign policy tools.”
Over the past few years, the President’s budget request has called for increases to the International Affairs Budget, largely to address new initiatives to fight HIV/AIDS and malaria and to launch the Millennium Challenge Account. The President’s speech comes as funding for the International Affairs Budget reaches a critical juncture. Recently, Congress approved a government-wide discretionary spending budget that adds $21 billion more to the Administration’s overall request, but cuts the request for the International Affairs Budget by $1.2 billion.
For a little more than one percent of the total U.S. Federal Budget, the International Affairs Budget funds programs around the globe that ensure the security and well-being of Americans. There is a growing recognition among U.S. companies and non-profit organizations alike that investment in the International Affairs Budget makes economic sense, while demonstrating the moral leadership of the United States.
“For just pennies on the dollar, the programs funded by the U.S. International Affairs Budget provide invaluable tools for U.S. businesses to successfully compete in the global marketplace,” noted Christopher J. Policinski, President and Chief Executive Officer of Land O’Lakes, Inc. “Over 12 million jobs in America are based on exports. As global markets evolve, we must continue to increase investments in programs that promote our global business interests and create economic opportunity for all.”
“The International Affairs Budget has moral implications; it expresses our values as a people,” said Ken Hackett, President of Catholic Relief Services. “President Bush and Congress have made important contributions to increasing funding for development and diplomacy over the past few years. At the same time, so much more needs to be done to fight global poverty, stop HIV/AIDS and other infectious diseases and foster economic opportunity for all.”
The U.S. Global Leadership Campaign calls on Congress to approve the President’s FY08 funding request for $36.5 billion for the International Affairs Budget and urges the President and Congress to fully commit to increasing America’s overall investment in diplomacy, development and international economic programs in the years ahead.
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 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 additional information, visit www.usglc.org.