Washington, D.C. — As congressional budget battles loom, leaders in the House and Senate are once again playing political games with funding for key national security programs according to an analysis released by the Center for American Progress today. Despite complete agreement between the parties over the appropriate levels of defense spending, budget smoke and mirrors from the congressional majority risks deep cuts to critical defense, humanitarian assistance, and disaster relief programs. Congress is also making dramatic cuts to important programs that support international development, fund nuclear nonproliferation inspectors, and counterterrorism efforts.
“The overall level of defense spending is one of the few places in the budget where both parties agree. However, congressional Republican leaders are risking critical national security and soft power programs, such as funding for our military, nuclear inspections, and counterterrorism efforts, rather than negotiate a budget deal,” said Katherine Blakeley, CAP Policy Analyst and co-author of the column. “Some members of Congress are willing to allow another government shutdown rather than amend the sequester caps in order to provide the level of spending necessary to keep Americans safe and advance our foreign policy and national security.”
Nearly half a billion dollars of financing for the Foreign Military Financing program would be on the chopping block—money that helps U.S. allies and partners purchase U.S. weapons and pay for training in order to bolster their own security capabilities. The House and Senate bills slash funding by 25 percent for the U.S. State Department’s Nonproliferation, Anti-Terrorism, Demining, and Related, or NADR, Programs, which helps fund the International Atomic Energy Agency, or IAEA, at a time when historic inspections of Iran’s nuclear program are about to begin. The bills risk $700 million from Migration and Refugee Assistance despite record numbers of global refugees, as well as half of all funding for international security and peacekeeping.
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