September 24, 2023
WASHINGTON – On Saturday, the House Rules Committee voted to bring the State-Foreign Operations and Agriculture Appropriations bills, along with numerous amendments, forward for consideration on the House floor. If the levels in the current bills and the Managers’ amendments are enacted, the House version of the U.S. International Affairs Budget would represent a 15% cut from current Fiscal Year 2023 levels. As Congress approaches critical fiscal deadlines, U.S. Global Leadership Coalition President and CEO Liz Schrayer, released the following statement:
At a time of intense and growing competition with China, as well as ongoing national security threats, it’s stunning to consider the funding levels in the current bills and the proposed Managers’ amendments that would represent a 15% cut from current levels of our civilian footprint around the world. These significant decreases in resources raise dangerous concerns when it comes to protecting American’s interests, particularly with proposed cuts to global health, development and humanitarian assistance, and multilateral programs that leverage the support of our allies.
America’s military leaders continually remind us: “Shortchanging our nation’s diplomacy and development tools would be a self-inflicted wound for protecting U.S. national security interests.”
The numerous amendments proposed to further cut these critical international programs are of grave concern. With the Food for Peace programs already facing a 70% reduction, we urge lawmakers to oppose any amendments to the State-Foreign Operations and Agriculture Appropriations bills that would further cut these critical International Affairs programs. Potential floor amendments that propose draconian cuts to USAID and MCC, foreign military financing, food security and democracy programs, refugee assistance, multilateral commitments and more, would be highly damaging to U.S. national interests.
Finally, we urge Congress to prioritize vital emergency security, economic and humanitarian assistance for Ukraine, alongside other international emergency supplemental needs, in any Continuing Resolution it considers. These resources are of the utmost importance to our own country’s economic and security interests, and we know the majority of Americans support our efforts in Ukraine.
We support funding at no less than the current FY23 International Affairs Budget level of $61.6 billion, as a strong and robust U.S. International Affairs Budget is critical to protecting the security and economic interests of American families here at home.
The U.S. Global Leadership Coalition (www.usglc.org) is a broad-based influential network of 500 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.