DEAR EDITOR:

Earlier this year, the White House called for a 22% cut to the International Affairs Budget as an effort to rein in government spending in 2021. Although it is true that many people do not understand the benefits of this budget, this simply cannot be our country’s first line of action in the effort to reduce government spending. The International Affairs Budget provides critical funding for USAID programs in poverty-stricken and developing nations, and these programs are vital to the future stability of US national security and the economy.

For this reason, many high-ranking military and business leaders have rejected the idea of cuts to this budget, but due to the White House’s continued support of the cuts, the International Affairs Budget remains at risk. USAID programs are critically important for promoting fiscal and political stability in foreign countries, stability that is necessary to fighting extremism and terrorism in these regions. The IA Budget is similarly vital to U.S. business interests, as many of our most valuable trade relationships today are with nations who once received aid from the U.S.

Although it is the goal of everyone in Washington to develop the most fiscally responsible budget possible, it is established by the military and the business sector that the International Affairs Budget is simply the last place cuts should be made. I, therefore, urge Sens. Perdue and Loeffler to support a fully funded International Affairs Budget for FY2021. It is crucial to the future of U.S. national security and economic stability.

Elle Summers

Smyrna/Brookhaven

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