Below are excerpts from MFAN Partners’ statements in reaction to President Obama’s FY2012 budget request released yesterday and the ongoing debates over the Continuing Resolution for FY 2011 in the House. You can read MFAN’s statement on the budget here. To learn more about the budget debates, click on the following links: U.S. Global Leadership Coalition’s Budget Center; InterAction; and ONE’s blog.
In their statement USGLC argued, “For the International Affairs budget, one of the most significant differences is how the Administration and House Appropriators categorize these programs. For the past five budgets, Republican and Democratic Administrations have grouped International Affairs within a cluster of spending categories that collectively make up the U.S. National Security budget. This bipartisan recognition of the critical role our civilian agencies contribute to our national security mirrors the calls from military voices including Secretary of Defense Gates, Joint Chiefs Chairman Admiral Mullen, and General David Petraeus. The Administration’s FY 2012 request continues this practice, exempting the International Affairs budget from its five-year freeze on non-security spending. The House proposal categorizes these programs as non-security funding, subjecting them to deep – and in some cases devastating — cuts.”
InterAction President and MFAN Principal Sam Worthington commented, “In a tough fiscal environment, the Obama administration has presented a responsible and sensible FY 2012 international assistance budget; one that will help save lives, create economic prosperity here and abroad, and reduce future deficits by preventing bigger security outlays in the future. The administration is also taking steps to ensure every dollar of international assistance is spent effectively and efficiently, an approach members of Congress have been urging for many years. Now that improvements are actually being made, the Hill has another reason to support President Obama’s budget request.”
MFAN Principal and ONE’s U.S. Executive Director Sheila Nix stated, “The House Appropriations Committee has faced very difficult choices in designing its budget for the remainder of FY 2011. We at ONE understand the need for greater fiscal restraints –- and the need to do more with less. At the same time, we are deeply disappointed by the Appropriators’ choice to step away from America’s long-term humanitarian interests in improving and preserving lives around the world by helping people lift themselves out of poverty. It is also a retreat from those programs that help bring stability to many areas of strategic importance to the United States…We are encouraged by President Obama’s FY 2012 budget released today. It demonstrates the Administration’s commitment to a multifaceted national security policy – one that is built on defense, diplomacy, and development.”