InterAction Spring Lobby Day

Photo By: Jeff Slinker / Flickr Creative Commons

On May 25, 2017, InterAction’s Public Policy Committee led a delegation of nearly 50 InterAction members and other leaders in the international development and humanitarian communities to Capitol Hill. The purpose of our spring lobby day was to engage Congressional Senate offices on the International Affairs budget as well as on President Trump’s proposed government reorganization and the need for an independent USAID.

The InterAction delegation met with 21 Senate offices on both sides of the aisle to thank Congress for its robust commitment to foreign aid, which was demonstrated in the FY17 Omnibus, and in particular, the $990 million included for famine prevention, relief, and mitigation in Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan, and Yemen. Our community also thanked Congress for its strong oversight and reporting requirements included in the Omnibus. 

While the support for FY17 was remarkably generous, our delegation advocated for similar support on a robust FY18 International Affairs budget. There are 128 million people in need of humanitarian assistance worldwide, including 70 million who are food insecure, and 65 million who have been forcibly displaced. Despite the United States’ generosity, these crises will not be fully resolved in one budget cycle. We therefore urged Congressional offices to provide a 302(b) allocation of no less than $60 billion for the International Affairs Budget in FY18.

Additionally, the delegation pressed Congress on the parameters of the proposed governmental reorganization, noting that any organizational changes made at the Department of State, USAID, or other development agencies, should ensure USAID’s independence and ability to invest in long-term development programs. In the unfortunate event of a merger, our delegation called for thoughtful and strategic reform that would significantly increase the efficiency of U.S. spending. 

The Public Policy Committee will conduct Hill advocacy days on a bi-monthly basis in a proactive effort to advocate for the community’s most pressing concerns.

For more information on InterAction’s Congressional outreach please contact Soshana Hashmie