Congress must reject harmful backdoor cuts to foreign aid
August 9th, 2019
According to press reports, the White House is preparing to exploit a budget trick that would cancel funding for the fight against global poverty. This roundabout move would jeopardize $2-4 billion in aid that Congress has already approved and has been signed into law.
This “rescissions” tactic requires the approval of Congress, but with only a few weeks left in the federal fiscal year, the President could run out the clock and let funds expire. The funding includes critical support for global health, education, and more in the fight against poverty.
The White House initiated a similar attempt to freeze funding last year, but abandoned the effort after strong bipartisan opposition from Congress. RESULTS has joined with dozens of NGOs standing against this reckless move, calling on Congress to actively oppose it again this year. Excerpts of the joint statement are below.
As organizations committed to addressing poverty and alleviating human suffering around the world, we stand together against any freezing of funding for foreign assistance. These funds are critical to helping improve humanitarian and development outcomes for the world’s most marginalized people.
The Administration’s repeated attempts to rescind U.S. foreign assistance programs leads to instability in U.S. assistance efforts and puts lives at risk at a time of global crisis. This must stop.
Attempting to cancel life-saving and life-improving funds that have already been appropriated by Congress with overwhelming bipartisan support is dangerous and unparalleled. The cancellation of funds would imperil strategic investments and put countless programs at risk for sudden closure, further endangering some of the world’s most vulnerable people and reversing progress.
Foreign assistance is not—and never has been—a partisan issue. Both Republicans and Democrats have continuously supported investments in humanitarian and development programs. We strongly urge Congress to reject any potential cuts, ensure that funds reach the communities and families as intended and if necessary, require the expeditious obligation of any funds in a continuing resolution for FY 2020.
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