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May 21, 2013

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Contacts: Sue Pleming: 202.552.6561 or 202.341.3814 (Cell) or spleming@interaction.org Jeanne Paradis: 202.552.6535 or 202.297.1696 (Cell) or jparadis@interaction.org

U.S. House of Representatives slashes foreign assistance spending levels
WASHINGTON (May 21, 2013) – Congressional leaders in the U.S. House of Representatives on Tuesday capped spending on foreign aid for fiscal year 2014 at disproportionately low levels, a move that the NGO alliance InterAction warned could cost lives and roll back significant development gains. For the State, Foreign Operations Appropriations bill, the committee has allocated $40.6 billion, well below current funding levels and the president’s budget request. This funding cap could amount to as much as a 20 percent cut from fiscal year 2013 to foreign assistance, an account already hit hard by sequestration. “Foreign aid is vital to U.S. interests and ensures that we Americans continue to lead in helping the world’s poorest and most vulnerable make better lives for themselves,” said Samuel A. Worthington, president and CEO of InterAction. “We understand these are tight budget times, but cutting the foreign aid budget so severely would harm people around the world who need vaccines, education, food and shelter. “At less than one percent of the entire U.S. budget, foreign aid is a smart investment and one worth keeping. Disproportionate cuts like these not only hamper future progress, but reverse hard-fought gains made over the last few decades. I look forward to working with congressional leaders to ensure that these cuts are rectified in the final appropriations for fiscal year 2014.” The 302 (b) allocations that both the Senate and House appropriations committees release each spring are significant to the federal budgeting process. They establish the caps for each of the spending bills that allocate federal funds to specific discretionary programs – from transportation security to global health to school lunches.

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InterAction is the largest alliance of U.S.-based nongovernmental international organizations, with more than 190 members. Our members operate in every developing country, working with local communities to overcome poverty and suffering by helping to improve their quality of life. Visit www.interaction.org.
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