Rough Start for International Affairs Budget
By Jonathan Pearson on Thursday, May 23rd, 2013
The House Appropriations Committee is beginning work on setting spending levels for various government programs. One of the first steps is to establish funding ceilings for the twelve different subcommittees that have jurisdiction over every aspect of federal funding.
The starting point for the International Affairs Budget, which includes funding for the Peace Corps, is projecting a continuing and significant downward slide.
Various sources are reporting that the House Subcommittee for State and Foreign Operations will be allocated just over $40 Billion to operate its various programs. This represents a nearly 20% reduction in overall funding, compared to current levels finalized in the aftermath of earlier across-the-board spending cuts referred to as the sequestration.
Reductions to the overall State/Foreign Operations funding levels will further threaten funding for the Peace Corps.
The United States Senate is expected to set its own funding ceilings for Fiscal Year 2014 in early June. There is still time to contact key Senators and urge them to support strong funding for our international affairs programs.
Take Action With Senate Appropriators:
- Follow this link to see if your Senator is a member of the Appropriations Committee. If they are, please take action.
- It is especially important to contact the following lawmakers if they represent you in the Senate: Senators Barbara Mikulski (D-MD), Richard Shelby (R-AL), Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC).
- Use the message below as a guide when sending your message. Please feel free to personalize your message.
Dear Senator _______,
I am writing to express my hope that the Senate Appropriations Committee will provide a very strong funding level for our International Affairs programs when you set your subcommittee allocations for Fiscal Year 2014.
I am deeply concerned by the recent actions in the House of Representatives, where the allocation for the State/Foreign Operations Subcommittee was set at just over $40 Billion. This disproportionate cut in funding represents a roughly 20% reduction in overall spending for our international affairs programs, on top of other cuts already implemented in recent years.
As a Returned Peace Corps Volunteer, I am particularly concerned about the spending implications on Peace Corps programs. All the progress that has been made on a variety of fronts including country selection, training, recruitment and security – rather than being rewarded – faces the real threat of being rolled back.
Because of my Peace Corps experience, I also believe that America is strongest when it reaches out to the world in the spirit of friendship, collaboration and development. There are so many positive programs that like the Peace Corps, face serious disproportionate cuts under the House recommendation. At roughly one percent of federal spending, our international affairs programs are a wise investment in addressing significant global challenges. At roughly one percent of federal spending, we cannot balance our budget and reduce our deficit by eviscerating our international assistance programs.
Please lead congressional efforts to restore and protect these programs that are so important to me, and our nation.
Name, Full Address, Peace Corps Service (if applicable)