Congressman Jackson Votes to Rebuild Relations Abroad and Bolster Security at Home
Congressman Jesse L. Jackson, Jr. voted today in support of the State Foreign Operations Appropriations Act, which bolsters our country's diplomacy and development efforts around the globe.
The measure invests in our diplomatic corps after years of neglect and in development programs that are crucial to stabilizing key regions, fighting global pandemics, protecting our environment and combating drug trafficking.
Congressman Jackson, the vice chair of the Appropriations Subcommittee on State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs, which composed the bill, made this statement:
"I strongly support H.R. 3081, the State, Foreign Operation and Related Programs Appropriations Bill. This bill is crucial to the success of U.S. foreign policy and national security.
"U.S. foreign policy can only be successful if we make crucial investments in the 3 D's -- Defense, Diplomacy and Development -- three legs of the same stool. This bill strengthens the diplomacy and development legs -- totaling $48 billion.
"This is a well written and measured bill, despite the fact that the allocation is $3.2 billion BELOW the president's request, and $1.2 billion BELOW the comparable FY 2009 level.
"Mr. Speaker, yesterday, in the developing world, 15 to 20 thousand people died of extreme poverty.
"Today, another 15 to 20 thousand people will die of extreme poverty.
"Tomorrow, another 15 to 20 thousand people will die of extreme poverty.
"Extreme poverty - like malnutrition and disease - are claiming tens of thousands of lives every day.
"The bill before us has the real potential to save many of these lives.
"This bill improves our diplomatic and development capabilities by funding 1,000 new foreign service professionals and 300 new USAID personnel.
"This bill provides increases for global health programs that reduce and treat HIV, TB and malaria.
"This bill provides increases for development assistance programs that educate children and provide clean drinking water around the world.
"This bill provides $224 million for Liberia, a shining example of a post conflict country that is now on the road to recovery instead of becoming a potential failed state or haven for terrorists.
"Now, I understand that some members plan to offer amendments that cut key increases in important development programs. But, that is penny wise and pound foolish. Again, for our foreign policy to be successful, we can't just use sticks, we also must use carrots. We need to invest in diplomacy and development the same way we do with defense.
"I'm sure some will defend their amendments by saying in tough economic times, we don't need to be spending one dime overseas. This argument is shortsighted.
"The money we spend on development and humanitarian programs overseas is an investment in more stability, more security and more sustainability. It is an investment in a safer, freer and more democratic world. It is an investment in America's long-term national security interests.