On February 26, President Obama submitted the broad outlines of his $3.6 trillion FY10 Budget request. The proposal calls for an overall 5% increase in discretionary spending, excluding the recently enacted Recovery Act. Following on campaign pledges to increase spending for diplomacy and development and launch several important global initiatives, President Obama’s first request proposes $51.7 billion for the FY10 International Affairs Budget, an estimated 9.5% above the comparable amount for FY09. The request is a $4.5 billion increase, but represents only 0.13% of the overall FY10 Budget.
Putting this in perspective:
- The entire International Affairs Budget is a mere 1.4% of the total FY10 Budget.
- The International Affairs Budget represents only 6.8% of the ‘national security budget’, which includes Defense and Homeland Security.
- Even at this level of spending, the International Affairs Budget represents only .35% of GDP.
The U.S. Global Leadership Campaign released a statement that applauds the Obama Administration’s bold and visionary leadership in requesting $51.7 billion for the FY10 International Affairs Budget. While the details will not be released until April, it is clear from this top-line request that President Obama recognizes the importance of elevating America’s civilian-led tools of diplomacy and development to address the global challenges of the 21st century as the Administration begins to fulfill its far-reaching commitments to double U.S. foreign assistance and reinvigorate U.S. foreign policy.