In an extraordinary show of support this afternoon, the Senate approved by unanimous consent the Kerry-Lugar Amendment to the Senate Budget Resolution (S.Con.Res.13), restoring a $4 billion cut to the FY10 International Affairs Budget approved last week by the Senate Budget Committee. Approval of the Kerry-Lugar Amendment restores funding to the Administration’s request level of $53.8 billion, a $4 billion or 8 percent increase over the $49.8 billion estimated FY09 spending level. The USGLC applauds the leadership of Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman John Kerry (D-MA) and Ranking Member Richard Lugar (R-IN) in sponsoring the amendment and its co-sponsors, Sens. Jeff Bingaman (D-NM), Barbara Boxer (D-CA); Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Robert Casey (D-PA), Bob Corker (R-TN), Christopher Dodd (D-CT), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Ted Kaufman (D-DE), Edward Kennedy (D-MA), Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Joe Lieberman (ID-CT), Robert Menendez (D-NJ), Bernard Sanders (I-VT) and George Voinovich (R-OH).
The USGLC issued a press statement praising the Senate for its incredible show of support given the difficult fiscal climate. A week ago, even our friends in the Senate were concerned about whether or not in this difficult climate they could garner the necessary support to pass this amendment. Thanks to our extraordinary effort, Senators and their staff told us that they were inundated with many calls, letters and e-mails from USGLC members and state steering committees in support of the Kerry-Lugar Amendment, demonstrating our growing and effective collective voice in Washington, DC and around the country.