United States: Administration’s Budget Request Undermines U.S. Global Leadership
In response to the release of President Trump’s Fiscal Year 2018 budget request, Freedom House issued the following statement:
“The Trump Administration has said the goal of its FY2018 State Department budget is to advance national security and economic opportunity while using taxpayer dollars wisely,” said Michael J. Abramowitz, president. “Unfortunately, the 30 percent cuts proposed to democracy support will undermine American interests. Drastically cutting democracy funding and channeling it all through accounts that have different objectives will represent a major retreat from America’s core values, harm the credibility of United States leadership in the world, and ultimately weaken America’s security and economic growth. We urge Congress to work with the Administration to ensure that the United States can adequately and effectively support efforts to advance freedom abroad. ”
President Trump’s FY18 budget request proposes to cut funding for democracy, human rights, and governance to $1.59 billion, a reduction of more than $700 million and 30 percent compared to the $2.3 billion appropriated by Congress in fiscal years 2016 and 2017. In addition, the budget proposes to eliminate funding accounts focused specifically on democracy and human rights and channel remaining money through accounts focused instead on security, economic opportunity, and law enforcement.
Freedom House is an independent watchdog organization that supports democratic change, monitors the status of freedom around the world, and advocates for democracy and human rights.