House Proposes Cuts to International Affairs Budget
Freedom House is deeply concerned about the proposed cuts to the international affairs budget in the Republican “Path to Prosperity” budget plan. The budget proposal spearheaded by House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI) includes large cuts for both international diplomacy and development and would severely constrain America’s foreign assistance efforts. The Obama Administration has championed robust international diplomacy and development funding as critical to America’s national security and foreign relations priorities; they requested $51.6 billion for international affairs for fiscal year (FY) 2013, a 1.6% increase over last year’s budget. The Ryan budget plan, conversely, would decrease the international affairs budget from $47.8 billion in FY2012 to $43.1 billion in FY2013, and make further cuts each year, down to $38.1 billion in FY2016. In a letter accompanying the Administration’s budget request, Secretary Clinton stated “the State Department and USAID are among the most effective -- and cost effective -- tools we have to create economic opportunity and keep Americans safe.”
The funding for international affairs historically makes up about 1% of the annual U.S. budget. Freedom House urges Congress to fully fund the President’s FY 2013 international affairs budget request.
For more information on previous budget requests see: “Investing in Freedom: Analyzing the FY 2012 International Affairs Budget Request.”