News / USA

Republican Presidential Contenders Promise US Foreign Aid Cuts

GOP presidential candidates former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney (L) and Texas Governor Rick Perry take part in the CNN Western Republican debate in Las Vegas, Nevada October 18, 2011
GOP presidential candidates former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney (L) and Texas Governor Rick Perry take part in the CNN Western Republican debate in Las Vegas, Nevada October 18, 2011

The U.S. presidential election process formally begins January 3rd in the Midwest state of Iowa when Republicans will cast the first votes to choose a party nominee to run against President Barack Obama in November of 2012. The domestic economy and jobs have dominated the Republican candidate debates, but foreign policy issues occasionally come up, including the subject of U.S. foreign aid.

At the most recent Republican debate in Las Vegas, several of the candidates made it clear they would cut foreign aid if elected president.

Texas Governor Rick Perry said, “I think it is time for this country to have a very real debate about foreign aid.”

Another contender, Texas Congressman Ron Paul, argued the United States has no business sending aid abroad.

Texas Congressman Ron Paul greets supporters before he speaks at the Iowa Faith & Freedom Coalition's Presidential Forum at the Iowa State Fairgrounds in Des Moines, October 22, 2011
Texas Congressman Ron Paul greets supporters before he speaks at the Iowa Faith & Freedom Coalition's Presidential Forum at the Iowa State Fairgrounds in Des Moines, October 22, 2011

“It is not authorized in the Constitution that we can take money from you and give it to particular countries around the world.  To me, foreign aid is taking money from poor people in this country and giving it to rich people in poor countries,” said Paul.

Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, who remains the top choice for many Republicans, said tough economic times at home would mean aid cutbacks overseas.
“I happen to think it does not make a lot of sense for us to borrow money from the Chinese to go give to another country for humanitarian aid.  We ought to let the Chinese take care of those people,” Romney said.

The Republican comments on cutting foreign aid prompted criticism from evangelical Christian leaders, including Richard Cizik.

“All of these kinds of programs actually are in our national interest and from an evangelical Christian point of view they are also important because they reflect our biblical values, caring about other people,” Cizik said.

Cizik and others note the importance of U.S. aid programs such as flood relief in Pakistan, earthquake disaster assistance in Haiti and fighting poverty and disease in Honduras.

Foreign policy experts say there is domestic support for U.S. aid efforts abroad. Heather Hurlburt is with the National Security Network.

“When you do public-opinion polling of American citizens they are extraordinarily committed to the idea that we live in a global society and that we are intimately connected to people around the world and it is our responsibility as citizens to step in and support people elsewhere,” Hurlburt said.

Hurlburt adds that most Americans do not realize that foreign aid accounts for such a small percentage of the federal budget.

“U.S. foreign aid is less than one-percent of U.S. annual spending," said Hurburt. Americans, when they are polled, tend to say that they think it is about 20 percent and they think it should be, by the way, between five and ten percent, which would be of course a five-fold increase in how we actually support the rest of the world.”

The issue is likely to come up again during a November 15th Republican debate that will deal only with foreign policy issues.

You May Like

Sydney Hostage-taker Failed to Manipulate Social Media

Gunman forced captives to use personal Facebook, YouTube accounts to issue his demands; online community helped flag messages, urged others not to share them More

UN Seeks $8.4 Billion to Help War-Hit Syrians

Effort aimed at helping Syrians displaced within their own country and those who've fled to neighboring ones More

Who Are the Pakistani Taliban?

It's an umbrella group of militant organizations whose objective is enforcement of Sharia in Pakistan 'whether through peace or war' More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Putin: Russian Economy to Rebound in 2 Yearsi
X
December 18, 2014 5:13 PM
Russian President Vladimir Putin held his annual end-of-the-year news conference Thursday, tackling questions on the Russian economy, the crisis in Ukraine and Russian relations with the west. VOA's Jeff Custer reports.
Video

Video Putin: Russian Economy to Rebound in 2 Years

Russian President Vladimir Putin held his annual end-of-the-year news conference Thursday, tackling questions on the Russian economy, the crisis in Ukraine and Russian relations with the west. VOA's Jeff Custer reports.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Detained Turkish Journalists Follow Teachings of US-Based Preacher

The Turkish government’s jailing of critical journalists has sparked international condemnation and is being seen as an effort to undermine the followers of an ailing Turkish preacher based in the United States. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video Will Pakistan School Shooting Galvanize Pakistan Against Extremism?

The attack on a military school in Pakistan’s northwest city of Peshawar left 141 dead, including 132 children. Strong statements of condemnation poured in from across the world. The country announced three days of mourning, and the leadership, both political and military, promised retribution. VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem looks at how likely the Pakistani government is to clamp down on all extremist groups.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.
Video

Video Turkey's Authoritarianism Dismays Western Allies

The Turkish government has been defiant in the face of criticism at home and abroad for its raids targeting opposition media. The European Union on Monday expressed dismay after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan lashed out at Brussels for criticizing his government's action. Turkey's bid to be considered for EU membership has been on hold while critics accuse the NATO ally of increasingly authoritarian rule. Zlatica Hoke reports.

All About America

AppleAndroid