Lawmakers emphasize the important role of diplomacy in the fight against modern challenges
Four Democratic lawmakers on Tuesday proposed a $ 12 billion increase in the country’s foreign policy budget, hoping to persuade President Joe Biden to increase funding for diplomacy after years of no change in spending on diplomatic needs.
Senators Chris Murphy and Chris Van Hollen and members of the House of Representatives David Cicilline and Ami Bera said the 20 percent increase in spending would help boost the country’s ability to compete with China, prevent a new pandemic and combat climate change.
Competition with China has been at the center of the foreign policy agenda in the first weeks of Biden’s presidency. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, on his first foreign tour, is seeking to strengthen alliances with Asian countries to counter Beijing’s growing influence.
The lawmakers proposed allocating $ 68.7 billion in funding to the State Department and the US Agency for International Development. Now their budget is 56.6 billion dollars.
“If this year has taught us anything, it’s that the biggest threats to our country don’t really come from foreign armies. That is why it is so staggering that the Defense Department’s budget continues to increase by tens of billions of dollars each year, while funding for other important national security agencies remains unchanged,” Murphy said in a statement.