Sending Office: Honorable Colleen Hanabusa
Sent By:
Elizabeth.Songvilay@mail.house.gov

 

Request for Signature(s)

Dear Colleagues,

Rep. Hanabusa is planning on sending the below letter to President Trump regarding alarming cuts to international affairs programs, and invites your boss to join her.

The Congresswoman is very concerned with the foreign policy that the FY18 budget reflects – specifically, the dramatic increase to military spending and dramatic decrease to diplomatic efforts.  As you all know, diplomatic efforts can create and maintain
peace and American influence, as well as support our military.

You’ll see the letter references a February 2017 letter signed by 121 three- and four-star generals, which urged congressional leadership to not allow the very cuts President Trump made to international affairs programs in his proposed budget.

If we want to ensure that our military has the resources it needs to face emerging threats, these international affairs programs must be included.

Current signers include: Hanabusa, Titus, Hastings, Speier, McGovern, McNerney, Bobby Rush

If you have any questions or if your boss would like to sign onto this letter, please contact
elizabeth.songvilay@mail.house.gov by COB Wednesday, June 7.

 

LETTER:

June XX, 2017

 

President Donald J. Trump

The White House

1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW

Washington, D.C. 20500

 

Dear President Trump,

We write today to express our concerns with the severe cuts to international affairs programs proposed in your Fiscal Year (FY) 2018 budget, which reflects a foreign policy that could have severe consequences for our national security.

On February 27, 2017, 121 retired three- and four-star generals sent a letter[1] to congressional leadership stating, “[w]e know from
our service in uniform that many of the crises our nation faces do not have military solutions alone,” and “[t]he military will lead the fight against terrorism on the battlefield, but it needs strong civilian partners in the battle against the drivers of
extremism – lack of opportunity, insecurity, injustice, and hopelessness.”  We could not agree more.  The United States’ diplomatic efforts and its support for organizations that share and promote our ideals are vital to the work of our military and our national
security.

The United States has been a leader in global humanitarian and development efforts, ensuring stability in regions around the world.  We must continue to provide strong support in improving global health and combatting epidemics like HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis,
and malaria.  We must also continue to support the development of democratic governance and modern infrastructure to increase the quality of life for people around the world.

Our foreign policy benefits greatly when we bring people together for educational, cultural, and policy exchanges.  Non-profits, such as the Asia Foundation and the East-West Center, are critical in providing additional capacity, expertise, and perspectives
in how the United States can effectively expand our influence and achieve our goals abroad.  Supporting these efforts provide immeasurable value to our partner nations, and to us.

Peace should be our foreign policy’s focus, and the United States has always led by example.  In fact, it was President Woodrow Wilson whose idea it was to create the League of Nations – the predecessor for the United Nations, an international organization
whose mission is to promote international cooperation and peace.  It is more important than ever that we work together with international organizations and the international community to combat new, emerging threats.

We were initially encouraged by Department of State Secretary Rex Tillerson’s statement that he believed this budget would “make the U.S. government leaner and more accountable to the American taxpayer, while maximizing our diplomatic and engagement
efforts
,[2] including with our international problems.”  In fact, your FY 2018 budget does not maximize our diplomatic and engagement efforts,
it curtails them.

The strongest support we can provide to ease the burden on our military and improve our domestic security is the investment we make in developing trust, goodwill, and influence abroad through the hard work of public diplomacy.  Diplomacy is a soft power
that can have a reach beyond the military’s sphere of influence and can create and promote long-term, positive change.

We look forward to working with you on how we can provide our military the resources necessary to successfully overcome the world’s threats, and urge you to consider the invaluable support that international affairs programs contribute to this effort.

Sincerely,

 

cc:        Secretary Rex Tillerson, Department of State

The Honorable Rodney Frelinghuysen, Chairman, House Committee on Appropriations

The Honorable Nita Lowey, Ranking Member, House Committee on Appropriations, Subcommittee on State, Foreign Operations, and Related Agencies

The Honorable Hal Rogers, Chairman, Subcommittee on State, Foreign Operations, and Related Agencies, House Committee on Appropriations

 


[1] http://www.usglc.org/downloads/2017/02/FY18_International_Affairs_Budget_House_Senate.pdf

[2] Emphasis added

Related Legislative Issues
Selected legislative information:Appropriations, Armed Services, Economy, Energy, Environment, Foreign Affairs, Homeland Security, Immigration, Intelligence, Trade
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