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

Video VOA EXCLUSIVE: Iraq President Vows to Fight IS 'Until They Are Killed or We Die'

In wide-ranging interview with VOA Persian service reporter, Fuad Masum describes conflict as new type of fight that will take time to win More

Video Russian Anti-Corruption Campaigner Slams Putin’s Crackdown on Dissent

In interview with VOA Alexei Navalny says he believes new law against 'undesirable NGOs' part of move to keep Russian president in power More

Video On The Scene: In Ethiopia, 'Are You a Journalist?' Is a Loaded Question

VOA's Anita Powell describes the difficulties faced by reporters in fully conveying the story in a country where people are reticent to share their true opinions 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.
Expelled from Pakistan, Afghan Refugees Return to Increased Hardshipi
X
Ayesha Tanzeem
May 28, 2015 6:48 PM
Undocumented refugees returning to Afghanistan from Pakistan have no jobs, no support system, and no home return to, and international aid agencies say they and the government are overwhelmed and under-resourced. Ayesha Tanzeem has more from Kabul.
Video

Video Expelled from Pakistan, Afghan Refugees Return to Increased Hardship

Undocumented refugees returning to Afghanistan from Pakistan have no jobs, no support system, and no home return to, and international aid agencies say they and the government are overwhelmed and under-resourced. Ayesha Tanzeem has more from Kabul.
Video

Video Britain Makes Controversial Move to Crack Down on Extremism

Britain is moving to tighten controls on extremist rhetoric, even when it does not incite violence or hatred -- a move that some are concerned might unduly restrict basic freedoms. It is an issue many countries are grappling with as extremist groups gain power in the Middle East, fueled in part by donations and fighters from the West. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video Floodwaters Recede in Houston, but Rain Continues

Many parts of Texas are recovering from one of the worst natural disasters to hit the southwestern state. Heavy rains on Monday and early Tuesday caused rivers to swell in eastern and central Texas, washing away homes and killing at least 13 people. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Houston, floodwaters are receding slowly in the country's fourth-largest city, and there likely is to be more rain in the coming days.
Video

Video 3D Printer Makes Replica of Iconic Sports Car

Cars with parts made by 3D printers are already on the road, but engineers are still learning about this new technology. While testing the possibility of printing an entire car, researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy recently created an electric-powered replica of an iconic sports roadster. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Al-Shabab Recruitment Drive Still on In Kenya

The al-Shabab militants that have long battled for control of Somalia also have recruited thousands of young people in Kenya, leaving many families disconsolate. Mohammed Yusuf recently visited the Kenyan town of Isiolo, and met with relatives of those recruited, as well as a many who have helped with the recruiting.
Video

Video US Voters Seek Answers From Presidential Candidates on IS Gains

The growth of the Islamic State militant group in Iraq and Syria comes as the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign kicks off in the Midwest state of Iowa.   As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, voters want to know how the candidates would handle recent militant gains in the Middle East.
Video

Video A Small Oasis on Kabul's Outskirts Provides Relief From Security Tensions

When people in Kabul want to get away from the city and relax, many choose Qargha Lake, a small resort on the outskirts of Kabul. Ayesha Tanzeem visited and talked with people about the precious oasis.
Video

Video Film Festival Looks at Indigenous Peoples, Culture Conflict

A recent Los Angeles film festival highlighted the plight of people caught between two cultures. Mike O'Sullivan has more on the the Garifuna International Film Festival, a Los Angeles forum created by a woman from Central America who wants the world to know more about her culture.
Video

Video Kenyans Lament Losing Sons to al-Shabab

There is agony, fear and lost hope in the Kenyan town of Isiolo, a key target of a new al-Shabab recruitment drive. VOA's Mohammed Yusuf visits Isiolo to speak with families and at least one man who says he was a recruiter.
Video

Video Scientists Say Plankton More Important Than Previously Thought

Tiny ocean creatures called plankton are mostly thought of as food for whales and other large marine animals, but a four-year global study discovered, among other things, that plankton are a major source of oxygen on our planet. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Kenya’s Capital Sees Rise in Shisha Parlors

In Kenya, the smoking of shisha, a type of flavored tobacco, is the latest craze. Patrons are flocking to shisha parlors to smoke and socialize. But the practice can be addictive and harmful, though many dabblers may not realize the dangers, according to a new review. Lenny Ruvaga has more on the story for VOA from Nairobi, Kenya.
Video

Video Iowa Family's Sacrifice Shaped US Military Service for Generations

Few places in America have experienced war like Waterloo. This small town in the Midwest state of Iowa became famous during World War II not for what it accomplished, but what it lost. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the legacy of one family’s sacrifice is still a reminder today of the real cost of war for all families on the homefront.

VOA Blogs