WASHINGTON—U.S. Senator Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), a member of the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee and Appropriations Committee, on Friday released the following statement on the Biden administration’s discretionary funding request for international affairs funding:
“The Biden administration’s proposed 10 percent increase to the international affairs budget is a good start, but Congress needs to go further. There is just no way to tackle all the non-military threats our nation faces – pandemic disease, foreign propaganda, climate change, democracy erosion – without a substantial increase in smart power tools.” said Murphy. “This year has reminded us that the biggest threats to our country are not posed by foreign armies. We need to rethink the national security budget to prioritize non-military threats like COVID-19, and while this proposal takes an important step in the right direction, I believe Congress needs to get the foreign affairs increase closer to 20 percent."
The budget proposal includes important foreign policy funding initiatives such as:
· $1.2 billion for a contribution to the Green Climate Fund;
· $10 billion for global health spending, including $1 billion for global health security;
· $10 billion in humanitarian assistance;
· Funding for increasing the size of the Foreign Service and Civil Service at the State Department and USAID; and
· Funding to significantly increase resources to advance human rights and democratic values, fight corruption, stem the tide of democratic backsliding, and defend against authoritarianism
In March, Murphy along with U.S. Senator Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), U.S. Representative David Cicilline (RI-01), and U.S. Representative Ami Bera (CA-07) proposed a $12 billion increase to the international affairs budget for Fiscal Year 2022 to better address America’s national security challenges. Investing in 21st Century Diplomacy called for the increased funding to be directed towards three specific challenges: (1) competing with China; (2) preparing for the next pandemic in a post COVID-19-era; and (3) fighting climate change.