Letter: Protect and expand funding for global aid programs

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Graphic by Lori Deaton

Joe Biden once stated, “Don’t tell me what you value, show me your budget, and I’ll show you what you value.” With the release of the proposed federal budget for 2018, there is much to be concerned about regarding what the president values for the future.

The White House proposed to cut discretionary spending in the State Department by nearly one-third to bolster funds for military spending. Slashes to global health and development will result in increased deaths caused by preventable diseases, increased vulnerability to disease epidemics and destabilized developing economies.

These cuts would directly affect the millions of kids who would no longer have access to school and vital medical treatment supported by U.S. anti-poverty programs. Not only would this be devastating to those communities and families, it would also undo years of progress in diplomacy.

I hope we can count on Sen. [Richard] Burr and Rep. [Patrick] McHenry to protect and expand funding for global aid programs. This is not a party issue, it is a human issue. Now is the time that we need to lead with our values, and recognize that healthy communities and economies abroad benefit us all.

— Valerie Wanamaker
Asheville

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