With our current financial crisis, it is clear that foreign aid is the first of many programs to go on the chopping block. Who is to say that the financial problems in the U.S. will be alleviated if international aid gets axed completely? One thing is certain, the small percentage of the federal budget that currently goes to foreign assistance has made a larger impact on the world’s poor than we realize.
Sen. Lindsey Graham, a military lawyer and an Air Force colonel, is going full force in advocating for the protection of foreign aid, despite going toe to toe with all the cynics who believe that U.S. resources should be focused at home. With his current position as senior Republican, Sen. Graham is doing what he can to stall funding cuts, but with our current economic situation, more Americans are reluctant to spend money abroad especially when some are doing all they can to simply make ends meet. To top it off, members from his own political party demonstrate their clear displeasure in having any funds at all allocated to foreign assistance. At the presidential debate in Las Vegas last week, many GOP candidates made arguments defacing international aid and how it must be cut. “I’m very concern about the direction my party is taking. I’m a Ronald Regan Republican. I would like to shape worldly events rather than watch the world fall apart. That means you have to be engaged.”
Early this year, Sen. Graham moved to the Senate Appropriations Committee and became the top Republican on its foreign operations panel. Sure, Americans are a bit hesitant about helping countries in the Middle East after Afghanistan and Iraq, but Sen. Graham strongly believes that directing U.S. aid to those places could yield huge dividends for the U.S. It is also important to note that there is a connection between U.S. defense and foreign aid efforts abroad. The foreign aid allocated to these poor countries will reduce terrorism and drug cartel involvements, and in turn will help strengthen our own national security.
Sen. Graham believes the U.S. needs to be doing more for its foreign counterparts. As a senator in the conservative state of South Carolina, he knows that his work will unquestionably hinder him politically. Yet, the risk that he is willing to take to sustain foreign aid will change the lives of millions.
“It is a tough sell, but you can be pennywise and pound-foolish.”
-Senator Lindsey Graham, (R-S.C.)
SOURCE: The State