August 29, 2018 (WASHINGTON) – This statement is delivered on behalf of the Modernizing Foreign Assistance Network (MFAN) by Co-Chairs George Ingram, Tessie San Martin, and Connie Veillette.
The Modernizing Foreign Assistance Network applauds the efforts of Congress and development champions to safeguard predictability for U.S. assistance programs by helping to prevent what would have been an unprecedented, unilateral move by the Trump administration to cancel already appropriated funds without Congressional review.
An uncertain and chaotic funding process can have detrimental effects on critical programs. U.S. assistance programs are most effective when they are carefully planned, budgeted for, and funded.
In the past, MFAN has denounced the administration’s efforts to recklessly cut foreign aid funding. These repeatedly proposed cuts threaten U.S. national security, weaken our global standing, and would reverse bipartisan reforms of U.S. development policies and institutions. Congress has again stood strong, affirming the importance of foreign aid to American interests.
“Threats or rumors of cuts can be very damaging to U.S. efforts abroad,” said Connie Veillette, MFAN Co-Chair and Senior Fellow at The Lugar Center. “Congress deserves praise for curbing another attempt to diminish development and diplomacy, and for their relentless defense of U.S. foreign assistance.”
“The United States carefully plans projects to help lift our partner countries out of violence and poverty. Though ultimately unsuccessful, we have seen firsthand that even threats to this process can harm programs on the ground by disturbing planning and budgeting,” said Tessie San Martin, MFAN Co-Chair and President and CEO of Plan International USA.
“Cutting funds that have been legally approved is a disservice to those carrying out these important programs and an attack on congressional intent,” said George Ingram, MFAN Co-Chair and Senior Fellow at The Brookings Institution. “We thank Congress for doubling down on its oversight authority and working to mitigate these serious risks.”
MFAN wishes to thank Congress and the champions throughout the community who successfully defended these funds and the effectiveness of U.S. development and diplomatic efforts abroad.