90+ NGOS STRONGLY OPPOSE POTENTIAL RESCISSION OF FUNDS

Photo by: Antonio Aragón Renuncio

90+ NGOS STRONGLY OPPOSE POTENTIAL RESCISSION OF FUNDS

Our alliance has acted collectively in multiple ways and at various times over the past few weeks in response to the Administration’s announcement to put a hold on congressionally approved foreign aid funds as a first step towards a possible rescission of funds.

On August 22, 2019, it was reported that the White House, ” scrapped plans to seek the return to the Treasury of up to $4 billion in unspent foreign aid amid intense pressure from Capitol Hill, according to a senior administration official and others familiar with the decision.”

In response, Sam Worthington, CEO of InterAction released a statement saying,

“Today, we received the excellent news that OMB’s rescission attempt to cut foreign aid is over.

“Foreign aid will continue to deliver. Data tells us that America’s small investment has worked. Global poverty is at an all-time low, hunger has been cut in half, and safe water is increasingly available.

“InterAction would like to thank House and Senate Republican and Democratic leaders for their bipartisan support for U.S. foreign assistance and thank you to our members for ensuring that America continues to help transform lives around the world. ”

Read the statement HERE.

On August 19, 2019, 90+ NGOs  signed a letter addressed to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy urging them to take immediate action to end the administration’s repeated threats and use of rescissions under the Impoundment Control Act to cut foreign aid funds approved by bipartisan majorities in the House and Senate and signed into law by the President.

“By impounding or canceling congressionally approved foreign assistance that the President signed into law, the administration not only subverts Congress’ constitutionally-mandated role but also reduces the effectiveness of life-saving programs and undermines America’s global leadership.

“We ask Congress to take swift bipartisan action and reject any rescission proposal. Bipartisan support for foreign assistance has been an enduring feature of U.S. foreign policy for decades. Furthermore, we urge Congress to ensure that rescission threats and proposals are no longer used as a tool to hinder and defund U.S. foreign assistance and undermine congressional intent. This will reassert Congress’ power of the purse and halt actions that impact the lives of millions of poor and vulnerable people around the world.”

Read the letter HERE

In the evening of August 9, 2019, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) announced they had lifted the freeze on funds appropriated for the State Department and U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID).

The notice from the OMB came after a flood of bi-partisan congressional criticism bolstered by a loud collective voice of opposition from InterAction members regarding the funding freeze and potential rescission of funds.

InterAction would like to thank House and Senate Republican and Democratic leaders for their support and bipartisan call for foreign aid funding to be unfrozen. Their support for foreign assistance is transforming lives around the world and continues to ensure American global leadership.

Since 2017 lawmakers from both parties in Congress have soundly rejected slashes to foreign aid funding.

On August 8, 2019, over 90 NGOs released a joint statement against any rescissions within the foreign assistance budget.

“The Administration’s repeated attempts to rescind U.S. foreign assistance programs leads to instability in U.S. assistance efforts and puts lives at risk at a time of global crisis. This must stop.”

“Attempting to cancel life-saving and life-improving funds that have already been appropriated by Congress with overwhelming bipartisan support is dangerous and unparalleled. The cancellation of funds would imperil strategic investments and put countless programs at risk for sudden closure, further endangering some of the world’s most vulnerable people and reversing progress. These proposed cancelations threaten America’s leadership and standing in the world.”

“The current freezing of funds is the first step to roll back funding for vital programs that provide direct support for health, education, protection, food security, democracy, human rights, and disaster relief while also building the capacity of countries to meet their own needs.”

You can read the full statement HERE.

On August 7, 2019, Sam Worthington, CEO of InterAction stated,

“It is both disappointing and saddening that President Trump consistently undermines the decisions that our elected representatives in Congress have made to support foreign assistance. Data tells us that the small fraction of America’s budget that goes to foreign aid yields big results. The White House’s repeated political ploys to halt aid threatens the effectiveness of U.S. assistance and puts America’s global leadership at risk.”

You can read his full statement HERE.

Reactions from Members of Congress

  • On August 9, 2019, leading Republicans and Democrats released a statement urging the Administration not to cancel funding for diplomacy and development.
  • On August 16, 2019, U.S. Senator Lindsay Graham (R-South Carolina) and Representative Hal Rogers (R-Kentucky) released a letter sent to President Trump expressing their concerns about proposed cuts to USAID funding.
  • On August 16, 2019, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi sent a letter to Steven Mnuchin, Secretary of the Treasury, urging the Administration not to submit a new rescission package.

Reactions From our Members and Leading Voices