Washington, DC – As Congress attempts to carry out its most basic duty of funding the federal government, including our national defense and other key national security budgets, Foreign Policy for America condemns ongoing efforts by lawmakers in the House to hijack the negotiation process and force an unpopular and divisive agenda on the American people. With the likelihood of a government shutdown increasing by the hour, we strongly urge the House to pass a Continuing Resolution, without policy riders, that temporarily funds the government while Congress works to pass a final budget that adequately funds our entire national security toolbox and meets the needs of the American people.
For too long, the United States has under-resourced our tools of diplomacy, development and other non-military means of engaging the world. The scale of the global challenges we’re confronting continues to grow at a rate that outpaces the actions we’re taking to address them. The Department of State, Foreign Operations and Related Program Appropriations Act (H.R. 4665) passed by the House features an egregious cut of $10.3 billion, or approximately 17%, compared to last year’s funding level. These major cuts to State and USAID operations undermine our ability to support global health initiatives, manage geopolitical competition, reduce global food insecurity, and address climate change – ceding U.S. global leadership to authoritarians and despots.
At the same time, extreme members of Congress have engaged in an unprecedented politicization of the U.S. military through the passage of defense appropriations (H.R. 4365) and authorization (H.R. 2670) bills that prioritize culture war attacks on efforts to foster diversity, equity, and inclusiveness in the military, injecting politicized restrictions on our armed service members’ access to reproductive and health care, and undermining critical climate change measures. These actions compromise the Defense Department’s ability to tackle challenges at the heart of U.S. and global security and the impacts of climate change on DoD operation and installations. They also exacerbate critical challenges in military recruitment and retention.
U.S. security assistance to Ukraine has also been a political pawn in the appropriations process, with a minority group of Members attempting to cut $300 million in security assistance to Ukraine from the defense budget and prohibit continued assistance to Ukraine. FP4A welcomes the overwhelming rejection of these divisive maneuvers and the ultimate passage of the $300 million supplemental assistance to Ukraine in a standalone bill (H.R. 5692) on Friday. This war is bigger than Russia; it’s about the world we want to live in. The assistance we provide Ukraine is an investment in a more stable, peaceful world and ultimately makes America safer.
Throughout this budget negotiations process, an extreme conservative minority has been working overtime to cut programs vital to addressing our most pressing global challenges while politicizing key foreign policy institutions, effectively undermining U.S. national security and our global standing.
House Speaker McCarthy and President Biden, with the backing of this very same Congress, agreed upon spending levels just weeks ago. It’s time the House refocuses on responsible governance, adequately funding our government, and delivering for the American people.