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Sen. Graham Defends State, USAID

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Sen Lindsey GrahamAnother Republican has come out in support of the International Affairs budget. In an exclusive interview with The Cable blog, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) spoke to the importance of fully funding diplomatic and development efforts worldwide. Graham, who is likely to become Ranking Member on the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on State and Foreign Operations, commented: “If you don’t want to use military force any more than you have to, count me in. State Department, USAID, all of these programs, in their own way, help win this struggle against radical Islam. The unsung heroes of this war are the State Department officials, the [Department of Justice] officials, and the agricultural people who are going out there.”

He added, “To those members who do not see the value of the civilian partnership in the war on terror, I think they are making a very dangerous decision.” Graham intends to work closely with Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-VT) to increase funding for State and USAID in frontline states like Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Iraq and increase partnerships in these key regions; “The way I look at it is, it’s national security insurance that we’re buying.”

On the House side, Appropriations State and Foreign Ops Subcommittee Chairwoman Kay Granger (R-TX) is supportive of State and USAID efforts but recognizes the tough fight ahead for funding.

To read more from Josh Rogin’s blog, click here.

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