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Mack Challenges Administration's Western Hemisphere Spending Priorities

Press Release

Location: Washington, DC

Chairman Connie Mack (FL-14) of the House Foreign Affairs Western Hemisphere Subcommittee held a hearing today and pressed recently confirmed Assistant Secretary Roberta Jacobson to explain declining conditions in Latin America despite spending approximately $1.8 billion dollars in the Hemisphere last year. Mack called for a reverse of the Obama administration's failures in Latin America by inviting Jacobson to set a new course for leadership in the region.

Mack said: "It doesn't matter which side of the political spectrum you're on, the consensus right now is that the United States has become isolated from its Latin American neighbors. It is clear that the Obama administration's goal of becoming an 'equal partner' in the Hemisphere has backfired."

Mack criticized the Obama administration for failing to hold the Organization of American States accountable and instead providing global climate change assistance to governments that work against U.S. interests.

"We have abandoned our principles in order to be a player in the region. Instead of gaining partners with salient goals for the region, the United States has dragged U.S. principles down to the lowest common denominator. It is time we reverse this trend. I challenge Assistant Secretary Jacobson to join me, only spend where we can show results to American people and businesses, and show the kind of principled leadership we so desperately need," Mack said.

Mack has requested more than $100 million in cuts to the FY13 Western Hemisphere Budget request by reducing contributions to the Organization of American States, the Global Climate Change Initiative, and bilateral assistance to nations who work directly counter to U.S. interests.

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