Sending Office: Honorable Henry C. “Hank” Johnson, Jr.
Sent By:
Brian.Duckworth@mail.house.gov

Keep America Competitive and Globally Engaged

Support Department of State Educational & Cultural Exchange Programs

 

This is a Programmatic Request

 

DEADLINE: MARCH 14TH.

 

Signers (86): Adams, Beatty, Beyer, Bishop (GA), Bonamici, Robert A. Brady, Brown, Boyle, Butterfield, Capuano, Carson, Castor, Castro, Cicilline, Chu, Clarke, Cohen, Connolly, Costa, Courtney, Cummings, Danny K. Davis, Susan
Davis, DeFazio, DeGette, DeLauro, Dingell, Engel, Evans, Delaney, DeSaulnier, Deutch, Ellison, Esty, Foster, Gabbard, Hanabusa, Hastings, Higgins, Himes, Jackson Lee, Jayapal, Kelly (D-IL), Kind, Kihuen, Langevin, Larsen, Lee, Lewis, Loebsack, Lujan, Lujan
Grisham, Lynch, McGovern, Meeks, Moore, Murphy, Neal, Norton, Pallone, Pascrell, Payne, Pearce, Perlmutter, Pingree, Raskin, Rice, Roybal-Allard, Sablan, Sarbanes, Schakowsky, Schiff, Schneider, Shea-Porter, Slaughter, Smith, Speier, Swalwell, Takano, Titus,
Glenn Thompson, Tonko, Vargas, Vela, Walz, Welch, Yarmuth

 

Dear Colleague:

 

Department of State international exchange programs are a proven and cost-effective way for the United States to remain internationally competitive, develop American leaders, and promote American values. These programs support global engagement that is critical
to our prosperity and national security.

 

Please join me in requesting that the House Appropriations Committee fund these vital programs at the highest funding level possible in FY2019.

 

Exchange programs such as the Fulbright Program, the Kennedy-Lugar Youth Exchange and Study (YES) Program, the Congress Bundestag Youth Exchange (CBYX) Program, the Teachers of Critical Languages Program, and SportsUnited create amazing opportunities for
our young people, helping them not only to develop the critical skills they need to succeed in a global marketplace but also to serve as ambassadors of American youth around the world.

 

Programs including the International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP) and the Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI) bring talented leaders from a variety of fields to the U.S. to expand their professional skills and networks. State Department evaluations
repeatedly show that these and other participants who visit the United States through exchange programs leave with a better impression of our country, the American people, and our values. U.S. ambassadors consistently rank exchange programs among the most
useful catalysts for long-term political change and mutual understanding.

 

In addition to enhancing America’s competitiveness, exchange programs provide significant immediate benefits to our nation’s economy. Most of the exchanges budget is spent either on Americans, American businesses and organizations, or in the United States.
Exchange participants do business with U.S. small businesses, airlines, hotels, and non-governmental organizations in local communities and their presence in our colleges and universities supports U.S. academic institutions and enriches the experience of our
students. 

 

Through professional, academic, cultural, and athletic exchanges, State Department exchange programs reach entrepreneurs, youth, educators, artists, and athletes in the United States and more than 160 countries around the world, dramatically increasing America’s
global reach, and building durable connections based on mutual understanding and respect. 

 

Please join me in supporting the highest funding possible for State Department exchange programs in FY 2019. To sign on, please sign the Google form
here, or contact Brian Duckworth in my office. 

 

Sincerely,

 

/s
Henry C. “Hank” Johnson
Member of Congress

 

 

March XX, 2018

 

 

The Honorable Hal Rogers                                       The Honorable Nita Lowey
Chairman, Subcommittee on State, Foreign             Ranking Member, Subcommittee on State,

Operations and Related Programs                             Foreign Operations and Related Programs
U.S. House Committee on Appropriations               U.S. House Committee on Appropriations

Room H-305, The Capitol                                         2365 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515                                             Washington, D.C. 20515

 

Re:  U.S. Department of State educational and cultural exchange programs for Fiscal Year 2019

 

Dear Chairman Rogers and Ranking Member Lowey:

 

Thank you for your continued support of U.S. Department of State educational and cultural exchange programs, which are a proven and cost-effective way for the United States to remain internationally competitive, develop American leaders, engage current and
future international leaders, and promote American values. These programs support global engagement that is critical to our country’s prosperity and security. We respectfully request that you enable the continued success of these vital programs and appropriate
the highest possible funding level for U.S. Department of State educational and cultural exchange programs in Fiscal Year 2019.

 

Through professional, academic, cultural, and athletic exchanges, these programs reach emerging leaders, entrepreneurs, youth, students, educators, and athletes in the United States and more than 160 countries around the world, dramatically increasing America’s
global reach. Support from Congress allows the State Department to strategically align its programs with key U.S. foreign policy interests and to facilitate exchange experiences for approximately 350,000 American and international exchange participants, including:

  • Bringing emerging and future leaders – many of them from countries key to U.S. foreign policy interests – to the U.S. on programs like the International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP), the Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI), the Kennedy-Lugar Youth
    Exchange and Study (YES) Program, and the Future Leaders Exchange (FLEX) Program;
  • Continuing to engage students and scholars through the renowned Fulbright Program;
  • Engaging and training young professionals through programs such as the Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange (CBYX);
  • Expanding opportunities for young Americans to study and research abroad;
  • Broadening engagement with youth, women and girls, as well as program alumni; and
  • Expanding the virtual exchanges portfolio, allowing for a strong public diplomacy impact on a growing audience worldwide.

Exchanges are imperative for U.S. national security

 

State Department exchange programs allow the U.S. to engage with a diverse audience and emerging leaders from around the world, many of them from countries key to our national security interests. Exchanges are a key instrument in the U.S. foreign policy
toolbox and essential to strengthening U.S. global leadership, while building respect and a web of partnerships based on shared interests and mutual ties around the world.

 

American students studying abroad through State Department exchange programs are ambassadors of the next generation of American leaders, highlighting our most promising young people and promoting American values around the world. State Department evaluations
repeatedly show that international exchange participants who visit the United States complete their programs with a better impression of our country, the American people, and our values. U.S. ambassadors around the world consistently rank exchange programs
among the most useful catalysts for long-term political change and mutual understanding.

 

Exchanges benefit Americans and help keep America competitive

 

State Department exchanges provide opportunities for Americans – as exchange participants and as hosts – to build international experience and connections, and gain cross-cultural skills necessary for success in the global marketplace, including expertise
in languages critical to business and national security and the establishment of key relationships around the world. State Department exchanges facilitate the development of a substantial cohort of Americans who have the skills, knowledge, and contacts to
navigate effectively across cultures and economies.

 

Exchanges are a cost-effective investment that brings resources to U.S. communities

 

State Department exchange programs are a cost-effective investment that not only enhances America’s long-term competitiveness but also provides significant and immediate economic impact in communities across the country. Most of the State Department exchanges
budget is spent either on Americans, American businesses and organizations, or in the United States. International students studying at our colleges and universities during the 2016-2017 academic year contributed $36.9 billion to the U.S. economy and supported
450,331 jobs across the country, according to NAFSA: Association of International Educators. They do business with American small businesses, airlines, hotels, and non-governmental organizations in local communities, and their presence at our colleges and
universities supports academic institutions throughout the country. 

 

We respectfully request that you make a smart and effective investment in our country’s foreign policy, as well as local communities across the United States, by funding U.S. Department of State international exchange programs at the highest possible funding
level in Fiscal Year 2019.

 

Thank you for your consideration.

 

Sincerely,

Related Legislative Issues

Selected legislative information: Appropriations, Foreign Affairs, Homeland Security

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