Rep. Deutch's Statement on the President's FY18 International Affairs Budget
Congressman Ted Deutch (FL-22), Ranking Member of the Middle East and North Africa Subcommittee, responded to President Trump’s proposed international affairs budget for Fiscal Year 2018:
"The President’s disastrous international budget sends a reckless and shameful message to the world. Apparently, the President doesn’t understand the value and effectiveness of a foreign policy built on diplomacy, humanitarian assistance, and global cooperation. These aren’t just handouts to the world’s most impoverished and vulnerable: a healthier, wealthier, and safer world in turn makes America healthier, wealthier, and safer.
"President Trump’s budget slashes 31 percent from the State Department and USAID, cuts that would all but announce to the world our intention to cede our role as a global leader in diplomacy and humanitarian assistance to rivals like Russia and China. These cuts, together with dramatic increases in the military, signal that the President prefers military action over diplomatic options.
"His budget also ignores the returns on investment that foreign assistance offers. For example, his decision to eliminate the Food for Peace program is a huge loss to American farmers whose crops have been sent around the world and American shippers who transported the goods. With violent extremism on the rise, we need to make sure we’re working closely with our partners to deter terrorism and promote democratic values. The dramatic cuts to diplomatic security jeopardize the safety of American personnel serving our interests around the world.
"As record numbers of refugees flee conflicts and devastation in their home countries, the President callously slashes important programs for resettlement assistance and international aid. Ignoring positive trends in the fight against global HIV/AIDS, malaria, and other devastating diseases, this budget severely curbs our global health programs. And at a time when millions around the world do not know where they will find their next meal and four nations face the threat of famine, the President’s budget calls for unprecedented cuts to our support for global food security.
"Together with my colleagues from both sides of the aisle, we will push back against these radical cuts to the foundations of American leadership overseas in order to protect the interests, values, and security of the American people."