This week the Trump Administration submitted its FY2018 “skinny budget” request to Congress. The proposal asks for $37.6 billion for International Affairs, a 31% reduction in funding for the State Department and USAID compared to the FY17 Continuing Resolution.
MFAN has come out strongly opposing this deep and disproportionate cut. The MFAN Co-Chairs released a statement urging Congress to oppose such a draconian approach that would not only jeopardize our national security but also the bipartisan reform gains achieved over the last fifteen years.
See below for a roundup of reactions from around the MFAN community.
Connie Veillette, MFAN Co-Chair; Senior Fellow, The Lugar Center: “The administration’s budget proposal for foreign affairs would severely undercut years of reform and rebuilding of our development architecture. Development is a discipline; and a strong, independent, and technically adept USAID is critical to our national security.”
George Ingram, MFAN Co-Chair; Senior Fellow, The Brookings Institution: “The cuts proposed by this administration are fundamentally reckless. Congress should reject this budget because it would cripple our country’s ability to engage with our allies and confront global threats.”
Carolyn Miles, President and CEO, Save the Children: “These investments work, and as many of our country’s military leaders are telling us, it is neither right nor smart to turn away from the rest of the world.”
Ray Offenheiser, President, Oxfam America: “The US Agency for International Development has undertaken bold efforts to further increase the effectiveness of our foreign aid dollars. But instead of building on these investments and reforms, this Administration is proposing draconian cuts that will have devastating consequences for millions, as well as our foreign policy priorities, national security interests, and the values central to America’s identity.”
Tom Hart, North America Executive Director, ONE: “These cuts are also inconsistent with a ‘national security budget,’ as the White House describes it. Military leaders recognize and advocate the importance of development as a critical tool in our national security arsenal and a key to preventing conflict.”
Liz Schrayer, President and CEO, U.S. Global Leadership Coalition: “Congress must recognize that we face complex 21st century threats from the rise of ISIS to the pandemics that can show up on our shores. Reject these dangerous cuts to diplomacy and development and invest in smart power – military and civilian tools alike.”
Sam Worthington, CEO, InterAction: “The White House’s proposed cuts to the U.S. foreign assistance budget would remove vital funding from U.S. efforts to aid vulnerable communities around the globe at a critical time.”
David Beckmann, President, Bread for the World: “This budget could not be more shortsighted. Less than 1 percent of the U.S. budget goes to foreign aid. Trump is proposing these cuts as 20 million people stand on the verge of or are in the midst of famine in Africa.”