Action Alert: Stop cuts to foreign aid budget

March 31, 2009 at 5:54 am Leave a comment

Your voice is urgently needed to save lives around the world. 

 

Right now, deep and drastic cuts have been made to President Obama’s proposal for the International Affairs Budget – the part of the budget that contains the funds for all of ONE’s top priorities from global HIV/AIDS, to malaria, and education.  In fact, all the progress that we have made in the past few years, and on the campaign trail, is now in jeopardy as the Congress is prepared to wipe away President Obama’s proposed increase in this lifesaving part of the budget.

 

But there is a way to help.  A bi-partisan amendment has been offered in the US Senate by Sens. Kerry and Lugar that would restore the 4 billion dollars that was cut from the International Affairs Budget.  A vote on this is expected on Wednesday and we need as many Senators to sign onto the “Kerry-Lugar Amendment” as possible.

 

Your help as a ONE member is desperately needed right now. 

 

Please call your Senators TODAY and urge them to sign onto the “Kerry-Lugar Amendment” to fully fund the International Affairs Budget. 

 

-Call the Senate Switchboard at, (202) 224-3121, and let them know what state you are calling from and they will connect you to your Senator’s Offices. 

-Let them know your name and address, that you are a member of ONE, and leave a message urging the Senator to sign onto the “Kerry-Lugar Amendment” to fully fund the International Affairs Budget.

-Please make sure to call both of your US Senators.

 

Your help as a ONE member is desperately needed right now.  Use your voice to let your elected leaders know that saving lives around the world is not only possible, but that it needs to be a budget priority!

 

Never before has your voice been so needed to help so many around the world struggling to live through and overcome extreme, less than a dollar a day, poverty.  This is a small part of the US Budget that will save millions of people around the world.

 

Throughout the past year, thousands of ONE members took to the campaign trail and were with all of the candidates from both parties, and garnered bi-partisan American support for efforts to fight global poverty and preventable and treatable disease.  All of the candidates saw ONE, recognized ONE, and made historic commitments to ONE and the world’s poorest people.  Do not let a small group of Senators in a meeting in DC, cut funding for what we have all worked so hard to support.

 

Please take action today and use your voice for those in the world without a voice.

 

All the best,

 

Ian

 

Text of the Amendment:

 

Restore the President’s Request to Fully Fund the International Affairs Budget

Dear Colleague:

As the Senate considers the FY2010 Budget resolution, we would like to urge your support for the Kerry-Lugar amendment to restore funding for the International Affairs Budget. This amendment is cosponsored by Senators Leahy, Voinovich, Kaufman, Menendez…

The amendment we are offering would restore funding for the International Affairs Budget to the level requested by the President. The Chairman’s mark approved by the Senate Budget Committee provides $49.8 billion for the 150 account, $4 billion below the President’s request.

It is vitally important that we fully support the President’s first request for the International Affairs Budget. The Chairman’s mark assigns the same total as last year’s budget: this will not allow us to fund any of the critical initiatives that the President has proposed and the Congress has called for, such as increasing our assistance to key allies like Pakistan and Afghanistan, rebuilding the diplomatic and development capacity of the Department of State and USAID, and tackling the global hunger crisis. It means potentially freezing the rosters of programs that provide life-saving treatment for people with HIV/AIDS, which will prevent us from fulfilling our commitments in the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief legislation.

National security and foreign policy experts agree that a strong International Affairs Budget is an essential component of national security. Defense Secretary Gates has said: “What is clear to me is that there is a need for a dramatic increase in spending on the civilian instruments of national security – diplomacy, strategic communications, foreign assistance, civic action, and economic reconstruction and development.”

Some have questioned the size of the President’s request and suggest that it represents a 41% increase from last year. This is inaccurate. Last year’s figure of $38 billion did not include supplemental appropriations. If we add supplemental appropriations to the baseline budget, last year’s total rises to $49.8 billion. The President’s request of $53.8 billion includes supplemental appropriations, and only represents a 9.5% increase for urgent priorities.

We urge strong support for the President’s request. A relatively small investment in development and diplomacy now is a smart investment – and in the best interests of our national security.

We urge you to vote for our amendment to restore the President’s request of $4 billion for the International Affairs Budget.

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