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

EU Court Fines Poland for Hosting CIA 'Black Sites'

Ruling is first time a court has acknowledged suspects were held and tortured at the sites, under US program launched following the 9/11 terrorist attacks More

Migrant Issues Close to Home Spur Groups to Take Action

Groups placing water, food in the desert, or aiding detainees after release, have one common goal: no more deaths of migrants crossing illegally into the US More

Video At AIDS Conference, Prevention Pill Stirs Excitement

Truveda shows promise, spurring debate over access and other approaches 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.
Israel Targets Gaza Supply Tunnelsi
X
July 24, 2014 4:42 AM
The Israeli military has launched a ground operation in Gaza to destroy the myriad tunnels that may have been used to smuggle weapons to Hamas. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports that could mean more hardship for the people of Gaza, who obtain some of their essential supplies through these underground passages
Video

Video Israel Targets Gaza Supply Tunnels

The Israeli military has launched a ground operation in Gaza to destroy the myriad tunnels that may have been used to smuggle weapons to Hamas. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports that could mean more hardship for the people of Gaza, who obtain some of their essential supplies through these underground passages
Video

Video MH17's 'Black Boxes' Could Reveal Crash Details

The government of Malaysia now has custody of the cockpit voice and flight data recorders from Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, which was hit by a missile over Ukraine before crashing last week. As VOA's Carolyn Presutti reports, the so-called black boxes may hold information about the final minutes of the flight.
Video

Video Living in the Shadows Panel Discussion

Following a screening of the new VOA documentary, "AIDS - Living in the Shadows," at the World AIDS conference in Melbourne, a panel discussed the film and how to combat the stigma associated with HIV/AIDS.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Relic of Saint Draws Catholics Worried About Immigration Issue

A Roman Catholic saint who is a figure of devotion for those crossing the border into the United States is attracting believers concerned about the plight of undocumented immigrants. Mike O'Sullivan reports from Los Angeles, where a relic of Saint Toribio has drawn thousands to local churches.
Video

Video US Awards Medal of Honor for Heroics in Bloodiest of Afghan Battles

U.S. combat troops are withdrawing from Afghanistan, on pace to leave the country by the end of this year. But on Monday, U.S. President Barack Obama took time to honor a soldier whose actions while under fire in Afghanistan earned him the Medal of Honor. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from the Pentagon.
Video

Video Ukraine Rebels Surrender MH17 Black Boxes

After days of negotiations, a senior separatist leader handed over two black boxes from an airliner downed over eastern Ukraine to Malaysian experts early Tuesday. While on Monday, the U.N. Security Council unanimously demanded that armed groups controlling the crash site allow safe and unrestricted access to the wreckage.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.

AppleAndroid