U.S. foreign aid

Foreign aid, when it serves to promote U.S. interests and security, and preserves and protects the interests and security of our allies, will always be a "necessary evil," especially when it prevents the U.S. from having to commit our nation's servicemen into hostilities. As the world's only remaining "super power," the U.S. cannot isolate itself from the world and its problems and expect to maintain our national security interests around the globe. But foreign aid cannot be used as a cure-all for every country in need, and it should not be given to nations that are anti-American.

The House of Representatives passed H.R. 1561, the foreign aid reform bill, on June 8, 1995. However it was vetoed by President Clinton on April 12, 1996. And Congress subsequently failed to override this veto.

As originally passed in the House, H.R. 1561 would have eliminated the Agency for International Development, the U.S. Information Agency, and the Arms Control and Disarmament Agency. After negotiations with the U.S. Senate to reach a final compromise for foreign aid reform, the bill was changed so that only of the aforementioned agencies would be eliminated rather than all three. The rational behind the change was to encourage President Clinton to sign the legislation. Unfortunately, President Clinton allowed his personal politics to interfere with much needed reform of our foreign aid programs and vetoed the bill anyway

H.R. 1561 would have also eliminated funding for more than 20 foreign aid programs. Overall foreign aid was to be cut by $3.7 billion over two years and by $21 billion during the next seven years, including cuts of about $200 million from United Nations peacekeeping missions over the next two years. I supported this important first step in reforming our nation's foreign assistance programs.


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