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Letter to the editor: Dear Ernst and Grassley, don’t cut the International Affairs Budget


Iowa Senators Joni Ernst and Chuck Grassley high-five. — photo via Joni Ernst on Twitter

By Victoria Fejfar

I am calling for Senator Ernst and Senator Grassley to protect the International Affairs Budget and the United States contribution in fighting to meet the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals by 2030. Unlike the perception of many, the International Affairs Budget makes up merely one percent of the federal budget.

The current administration has proposed a 30 percent cut to the International Affairs Budget. The money in this budget would not compete with domestic causes. This budget is exclusively allocated towards supporting causes like development assistance and reconstruction in Afghanistan after the United States invaded in 2001. The money spent in helping to stall the last African Ebola outbreak came from this budget. Continuing to further support developing countries comes back to help the domestic economy.

The United States has been continuing to fall short of the U.N. standard for developed countries to allocate towards international aid — the standard only being 0.7 percent of the gross national income. The United States cannot afford to cut the International Affairs Budget and lose everything that would be done at home and abroad. Rather, we need to consider increasing how much money is allocated to international aid.


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