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March 19, 2009

President and CEO
Samuel A. Worthington

Chair
The Honorable John Spratt, Chairman, House Budget Committee
Charles MacCormack, The Honorable Paul Ryan, Ranking Member, House Budget Committee
Save the Children
The Honorable Kent Conrad, Chairman, Senate Budget Committee
Vice Chair
The Honorable Judd Gregg, Ranking Member, Senate Budget Committee
Ritu Sharma Fox, Members of the House and Senate Budget Committees
Women Thrive Worldwide

Dear Chairman Conrad, Chairman Spratt, Ranking Members Ryan and
Treasurer
Amy Coen, Gregg, and Budget Committee Members:
Population Action International

Every day of the year, InterAction’s 180 U.S.-based nonprofit member
Board of Directors organizations turn the American impulses to help people and get things
Kenneth Bacon, Refugees International
David Beckmann, Bread for the World
done into action, working throughout the developing world and advocating
Carol Bellamy, World Learning here at home to fight global poverty, alleviate suffering, protect human
Sekyu Chang,
Korean American Sharing Movement rights, and maintain the natural resources upon which the world’s poorest
Julius Coles, Africare depend.
Helene D. Gayle, CARE USA
Anne Lynam Goddard,
Christian Children’s Fund
Lee H. Hamilton, I write on their behalf to urge you, as you draft your FY2010 budget
Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars resolutions, to join President Obama in requesting needed, crucial
Neal Keny-Guyer, Mercy Corps
Elizabeth Latham, US Committee for UNDP investments in the civilian parts of our international engagement.
Jo Luck, Heifer International
John McCullough, Church World Service
Specifically, we urge you to propose a Function 150 account level that is
Mary Ellen McNish, at least equivalent to the President’s request of $51.7 billion for the State
American Friends Service Committee
Hugh Parmer, American Refugee Committee Department and other international programs. We note that that request
Daniel E. Pellegrom, Pathfinder International
Linda Pfeiffer, INMED
was not for the full 150 account, since it excluded food aid and perhaps
Robert Radtke, other international programs funded through the Justice Department, so an
Episcopal Relief and Development
Yolonda C. Richardson, equivalent 150 account level would need to be somewhat higher than
Centre for Development & Population Activities $51.7 billion.
Carter Roberts, World Wildlife Fund
George Rupp,
International Rescue Committee
Zainab Salbi, We fully understand the tough budget climate and the stresses the
Women for Women International economic downturn has placed on our country. Yet by making the world
Ron Sconyers, Physicians for Peace
Kathy Spahn, Helen Keller International more prosperous and stable, investments in the International Affairs
Richard Stearns, World Vision
Tsehaye Teferra,
account ultimately help protect budget priorities here at home – our health,
Ethiopian Community Development Council our security, and our very freedom – and they reduce the risks, current and
Emily Untermeyer, Amigos de las Americas
future, to our fighting men and women in the military. The 150 account
remains a minute portion of the overall federal budget, about 1.4%, while
1400 16th St., NW the returns on investments in the programs it supports – in increased
Suite 210
Washington, DC 20036
prosperity, stability, security, and ability to carry out American
PHONE: (202) 667-8227 humanitarian values – are large. In the coming tough budget years, those
FAX: (202) 667-8236 returns will be needed more than ever. The time to make the investments
E-MAIL: ia@interaction.org
http://www.interaction.org is now.

InterAction is a membership association of US private voluntary organizations engaged in international humanitarian efforts including
relief, development, refugee assistance, environmental protection, population programming, policy advocacy, and education.
Increased investment in this account has wide bipartisan support. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates
has called repeatedly for “a dramatic increase in spending on the civilian instruments of national
security – diplomacy, strategic communications, foreign assistance, civic action, and economic
reconstruction and development.” General Anthony Zinni, Admiral Leighton Smith Jr., and 51 of
their fellow retired military commanders have echoed this call. Opinion polls consistently show
that solid majorities of the American public think our government should be investing a greater
percentage of the federal budget in foreign assistance.

In addition to being a smart investment and one that reflects American humanitarian values, a
Function 150 recommendation on par with the President’s would support his commitment to
transparent and responsible budgeting. We urge you to join the administration in this courageous
and responsible break from recent practice by putting all expected spending on the books, instead of
relying on off-budget emergency supplementals to fund foreseeable humanitarian needs. That
practice and the funding unpredictability it causes have resulted in costly inefficiencies and
disrupted humanitarian assistance programs with devastating human consequences that cannot be
reversed with last-minute mid-year funding. Supplemental funding for humanitarian programs
should be reserved for new emergencies or unforeseen needs. By requesting a robust funding level
for the International Affairs account at the start of the budget process, you can demonstrate a
renewed commitment both to the vital programming that these accounts fund and to fiscal
responsibility and responsible budgeting.

We urge the Budget Committees to join the President in supporting a stronger and smarter U.S.
engagement internationally by making his requested far-sighted investments a reality. Please
propose a Function 150 account level at least equivalent to the President’s request of $51.7 billion
for State Department and other international programs, and oppose any amendments to cut that
account in committee or on the floor.

We thank you for your consideration and for your hard work on behalf of our nation. We look
forward to working with you to ensure our government's continued leadership in cooperating with
the people of the world to create healthy and sustainable communities and a more stable and
prosperous world.

Sincerely yours,

Samuel A. Worthington
President and CEO
InterAction

InterAction is a membership association of US private voluntary organizations engaged in international humanitarian efforts including
relief, development, refugee assistance, environmental protection, population programming, policy advocacy, and education.