June 15, 2023
Washington, DC – The U.S. Global Leadership Coalition (USGLC) released the following statements after the House Appropriations Committee adopted subcommittee toplines – also known as 302(b) allocations – that would cut overall funding for the House FY24 State Department, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs Appropriations bill by nearly 31% ($18.3 billion) compared to the FY23 enacted level:
USGLC President and CEO Liz Schrayer
Cutting nearly one-third of America’s footprint in the world would be dangerous to our national security and economic interests – undermining America’s ability to compete and win on the global stage while ceding influence to China. If enacted, this would be the lowest funding level for our diplomacy and development toolbox in a generation at a time when America is facing the greatest threats since the Cold War.
Republicans and Democrats in Congress have rejected similar draconian cuts in the past and they should do so again, especially given the stakes for America’s kitchen table, economic, and security interests. As our military leaders have said repeatedly, if we don’t engage in the world, others will simply fill the void. As we face fierce competition from China, Putin continues his unprovoked war on Ukraine, and an historic global food crisis continues, now is not the time for our nation to shortchange these essential civilian tools.
As the FY24 appropriations process moves forward, we look forward to working with bipartisan Members in both the House and the Senate to ensure all of America’s national security tools are fully resourced to match today’s unprecedented threats.
Admiral James Stavridis, Co-Chair, USGLC’s National Security Advisory Council of more than 250 retired flag officers
Senior military leaders have seen first-hand around the world the risks of instability to national security, and we know that responding to these threats requires more than just a strong military. Significant cuts to our nation’s civilian national security toolkit in the International Affairs Budget would chart a dangerous course for the United States at this pivotal moment.
Dr. Mark T. Esper, former Secretary of Defense and a member of the USGLC National Advisory Council
America’s leadership in the world cannot be left to doubt. When we don’t lead, we create a vacuum that will be filled instead by China, which has only increased its spending on defense, diplomacy, and development. America’s leadership means more than just military capability; diplomacy and foreign assistance are part of it too. This proposed budget would upend that relationship by gutting our civilian toolkit and depriving America of the diplomatic leadership whose benefits I have seen last a lifetime.
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.