Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Reducing USAID Support For Dictators

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) has proposed a huge budget slashing bill that includes deep cuts to funding for the State Department:

"SEC. 15. STATE.

(a) IN GENERAL.—Including reductions made by subsection (b), amounts made available to the Department of State for fiscal year 2011 are reduced on a pro rata basis by the amount required to bring total reduction to $20,321,000,000."

Most Republican members of the Senate Appropriations Committee, who served on the State and foreign operations subcommittee in the last Congress are now gone. In the House, Rep. Kay Granger (R-TX) was chosen to serve as chair of the House Appropriations State and Foreign Operations Subcommittee even though she has only two years of experience on the panel.

The ranking Republican on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Dick Lugar (R-Indiana) said, “I’m distressed that there is not enough recognition of the role the State Department is playing." Referring to the rookies, Lugar said, "It’s a new leadership group, and they are attempting to express that they are different and it’s a different time. And they’re apparently succeeding.”

Over in the House, the Republican majority proposes to lump Obama's State and foreign aid requests with “non-security” domestic spending and to cut appropriations to 2008 levels. The result could be a $16 billion, or nearly one-third, reduction in the resources available to the State Department.

The House Republican Study Committee (RSC) submitted their budget cut plan that reduces or eliminates federal funding for USAID, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, the U.S. Trade Development Agency, the Woodrow Wilson Center, the USDA Sugar Program, economic assistance to Egypt, and many other programs.

Significant cuts in State Department funding and USAID could result in loss of control over puppet dictators around the world who are supported by US tax dollars.

History Lesson from "Where in the world is Osama bin Laden" by Morgan Spurlock

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