MFAN Members Set the Scene for Budget Day

As President Obama’s FY’12 budget proposal is released and the details start to crystallize around the FY’11 Continuing Resolution, MFAN Principals and Partners are hard at work defending the International Affairs budget and our development programs from severe cuts. See some clips below:

Sam WorthingtonIn an op-ed for The Guardian today, MFAN Principal and InterAction President Sam Worthington outlines key reasons why Republicans in the House should not cut foreign assistance, citing critical support from the military and private philanthropists. Worthington points at the Obama Administration’s efforts to reform foreign assistance amidst attempts to cut programs and offices: “This new pressure point on the foreign aid budget comes as the administration is trying to reform the US development agency. To implement those reforms will need investment, not turning off the spigot. If a group of more conservative Republicans get their way, they will eliminate federal funding for the US Agency for International Development (USAid).”

On Saturday, Worthington argued that any attempts to cut foreign assistance would be “penny-wise and pound foolish” in an op-ed for the National Review. Worthington described foreign assistance as an investment, writing, “Foreign assistance is a down payment for U.S. national security in that it helps to create a more stable and secure world. Investing in societies now reaps rewards for years to come and helps avert future military conflicts, which cost much more in blood and national treasure. Development is a key component of foreign policy strategy and must not be an afterthought.” He closed his piece by noting the power of American generosity and the need to resist being “stingy” in a complex world.

A Miami Herald column by Andres Oppenheimer cites MFAN Partner the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition’s analysis of the budget to make his own case against cuts to the State/USAID budget—calling such cuts “diplomatic suicide.” He also references an interview with Rep. Eliot Engel (D-NY) who said skimping on this investment now “will come back to bite us.” Read more of his column here.

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