Saturday, January 22, 2011

USAID as Endangered Specie: GOP conservatives call for $1.39 billion in annual savings from agency where operating budget is $1.65 billion

United States Agency for International DevelopmentImage via WikipediaVia The Cable's Josh Rogin:

The Republican Study Committee (RSC), a loose conglomeration of 165 self-identified conservative GOP House members, unveiled their plan Thursday that they argue could save $2.5 trillion in federal spending over ten years. The proposal is centered around legislation that would slash or eliminate federal funding for USAID, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, the U.S. Trade Development Agency, the Woodrow Wilson Center, the USDA Sugar Program, economic assistance to Egypt, and many other programs.

The RSC plan calls for $1.39 billion in annual savings from USAID. The USAID operating budget for fiscal 2010 was approximately $1.65 billion. The RSC spending plan summary was not clear if all the cuts would come from operations or from USAID administered programs.

Active links added above. Continue reading 165 House Republicans endorse defunding USAID.

A peek at the spending plan summary below and some of the programs targeted excuse me, in the cross hairs:

The Spending Reduction Act of 2011 reduces federal spending by $2.5 trillion over ten years. The bill will specifically hold FY 2011 non-security discretionary spending to FY 08 levels, hold non-defense discretionary spending to FY 06 levels thereafter for the rest of the ten-year budget window (the same level as in effect during the last year of GOP control of the Congress), and include more than 100 other program eliminations or savings proposals, consisting of proposals from the RSC Sunset Caucus, YouCut, or past RSC budgets.
  • International Fund for Ireland. $17 million annual savings.
  • U.S. Trade Development Agency. $55 million annual savings.
  • Woodrow Wilson Center Subsidy. $20 million annual savings.
  • Economic Assistance to Egypt. $250 million annually.
  • U.S. Agency for International Development. $1.39 billion annual savings.
  • Prohibit taxpayer funded union activities by federal employees. $1.2 billion savings over ten years.
  • Eliminate taxpayer subsidies to the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. $12.5 million annual savings.
  • Cut Federal Travel Budget in Half. $7.5 billion annual savings. 

Read the whole fascinating plan here.

This did not sit well with USAID Administrator Rajiv Shah.  The Cable scored an interview with the USAID top gun. Read USAID chief to Congress: Don't play games with national security.

We're sorry to say but it looks like USAID is no longer in the starve this agency list but officially in the targeted surveyor marked endangered specie column.

President John F. Kennedy created USAID in 1961.
But we remember that another president also created the United States Information Agency (USIA) in 1953. That agency did not get a chance to turn 50; and was abolished in 1999.  


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