International Affairs Funding Supports Peace in Sudan and Atrocity Prevention
Funding is one critical tool the United States Government has to advance peace in Sudan, provide humanitarian aid in areas affected by crises, support peacekeeping missions and prevent genocide. Unfortunately, the international affairs account of the U.S. budget, which makes all of this possible, has been targeted by some Members of Congress for disproportionate cuts.
Drastic reductions to international affairs funding will jeopardize lives, undermine U.S. national interests and undercut job growth. The international affairs account is only 1% of the total U.S. budget and yet it represents a crucial investment that, if shortchanged, will be much more costly down the road. For more information, read a recent letter from Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to Senator John Kerry detailing the importance of this funding.
Right now, Congress is in the midst of a contentious debate about funding for the 2012 fiscal year (FY12). Although FY12 began on October 1st, Congress was unable to reach an agreement and instead passed a short-term measure to extend funding through mid-November. November 18th is the next deadline by which Congress must take action or face a government shutdown.
With the deadline a little over two weeks away, the Senate is expected to take up a bill on Wednesday that would determine their recommended funding levels for the international affairs account (known in Congress as State, Foreign Operations and Related Programs bill). During this process, we anticipate a series of amendments that would devastate funding levels for programs like United Nations Peacekeeping and those that support genocide and mass atrocity prevention.
What to do: Call both of your Senators right now. Contact information for your Senators’ Washington, DC offices can be found here.
What to say: “I am a constituent. I would like to urge the Senator to vote against any amendments that would cut the international affairs account. I support funding for humanitarian aid, genocide prevention and United Nations peacekeeping.”
We will keep you updated on how things proceed in the Senate. Once the Senate has passed its funding bill, the House of Representatives and Senate will need to reach agreement on the final funding numbers.