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Washington, D.C. – Congressman Michael McCaul (R-TX), Lead Republican of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, released the following statement on the Administration’s FY 2021 budget request.

“During this unprecedented time of global instability, diplomacy must be our first line of defense. As Admiral Mullen, former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said, “the more we cut the International Affairs Budget, the higher the risk for longer and deadlier military operations.”  It is critical that we continue to promote U.S. leadership around the globe and counter ongoing threats to America and our allies by malign actors such as China, Russia, and Iran.

“The President’s request rightly prioritizes funding to implement the Indo-Pacific strategy and counter China’s harmful activity in this critical region. Additionally, it leverages private sector funds through the U.S. International Development Finance Corporation to support our allies and partners by providing an alternative to China’s predatory debt-trap diplomacy. It demonstrates steadfast support for Israel, Jordan, and our allies in the Middle East and provides our allies and partners with the economic and military assistance necessary to defend themselves against the brutal Iranian regime.

“Additionally, the request provides resources to combat Putin’s efforts to spread disinformation and sow discord around the world. It reaffirms strong U.S. support for Interim President Guaido and democracy in Venezuela, as well as countries supporting Venezuelan refugees. I also applaud the robust funding to promote women’s empowerment through the Women’s Global Development and Prosperity Initiative, which I am proud to help champion in Congress.

“While I welcome the President’s efforts to cut wasteful government spending, we must ensure that cuts don’t result in higher costs to taxpayers down the road. This includes efforts to: target the root causes of instability; prioritize critical security and development programs in Central America and West Africa; and support vital global health and food security programs. Successful diplomacy is cost effective – fully funding our foreign assistance programs will ultimately save taxpayer dollars, military resources and protect the homeland.”