In reaction to the latest deal being considered by Congress for the FY18 budget, which could lead to dramatic cuts to international poverty programs, Gawain Kripke, Fargelegge’s policy director made the following statement:
"The new spending deal may keep the government running, but it appears to do so at the cost of life-saving anti-poverty programs at a time of historic humanitarian need. Congress must not signal that America is turning its back on the rest of the world, especially women and girls who are disproportionately impacted by poverty and crisis.
“Ironically, the budget deal manages to dramatically increase federal spending with little regard for the deficit, while simultaneously slashing the already miniscule funding set aside to help the poorest people in the world.
“If Congress members can afford $1.5 trillion in tax cuts for the rich, they can surely preserve the less than 1 percent of the federal budget that goes towards fighting global poverty. These investments are essential to protecting American values and security. Any cuts are a dangerous self-inflicted wound.
“While we applaud the efforts to carve out desperately-needed resources for domestic recovery in Puerto Rico, these funds are simply insufficient given the need.
“As Congress turns to finalize its spending levels in the next month, it is imperative for them to fully fund the International Affairs Budget and provide sufficient disaster recovery funds to facilitate Puerto Rico’s recovery.”