Disproportionately deep cuts now would also reverse efforts by both the Bush and Obama administrations to make our foreign assistance programs more effective and results driven. Significant gains have been made to demonstrate the value American taxpayers receive from the international affairs budget, and for the first time you can now track where U.S. Agency for International Development funds are going by country and program through the Foreign Assistance Dashboard. Cuts of nearly 30 percent are on the table for operating expenses at USAID, which would curtail efforts to ensure effectiveness and our ability to respond to crises overseas.
We know our former colleagues across Capitol Hill will have to make tough decisions about where to cut in order to get our budget back to balance. As they negotiate this tricky terrain, our hope is they will consider the cost-effectiveness of the international affairs budget and avoid deep and disproportionate cuts to these essential programs. The future growth of the economy and our security depend on their decision.
Former Rep. Dan Glickman (D-Kan.) served nine terms in the House before serving as the secretary of Agriculture. Former Rep. Mark Green (R-Wis.) served four terms in the House before serving as U.S. ambassador to Tanzania.
Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., right, hugs Harold Schaitberger, General President of the International Association of Fire Fighters, after the Congressman spoke at the IAFF's Legislative Conference General Session at the Hyatt Regency on Capitol Hill, March 9, 2015. The day featured addresses by members of Congress and Vice President Joe Biden.