Don’t cut foreign affairs budget

To the editor,

I oppose cuts to the Foreign Affairs budget proposed by President Trump.

As a native of American Falls, ID, and a sophomore at the University of Idaho, I envision a bright future. But, that light reveals to me the hopelessness of so many people in the world. I chose to act for them by joining ONE, a grassroots, non-partisan advocacy campaign fighting to reduce extreme poverty in sub-Saharan Africa. Our current focus is to help the 130 million girls around the world who have no opportunity to attend school.

In February, I traveled to Washington D.C. for ONE’s Annual Power Summit, speaking with Senator Risch and aides for Senator Crapo and Representative Simpson on the importance of maintaining the one percent of the budget that is allocated to foreign affairs. Subsequently, nearly 60 letters from Idahoans supporting our objectives were sent to Capitol Hill. Earlier this month I returned to D.C. to again pitch for this cost-effective investment that promotes the goals of the U.S.

As I return to U of I in the fall, I’m looking ahead toward a promising path made possible by my right and opportunity to go to school. According to a new report by UNESCO, 130 million girls globally are left uneducated and out of school. Most of these girls are in the world’s poorest countries, where any education provides an advantage, yet are denied the opportunity. Education is vital for ending poverty in any country. Foreign aid must continue and that one percent of the federal budget must be preserved.

Many Idahoans understand that the payoff of such assistance goes well beyond altruism. Foreign aid helps others, yes, but we also gain. Foreign assistance makes America safer, helps create jobs here in America, and is simply the right thing to do.

President Trump’s proposed reduction in foreign aid is not in the best interests of America. Turning our backs on the world’s problems isn’t the way to solve them. Join me in advocating for solutions by sounding off to friends and family or even by contacting Senator James Risch (202-224-2752), Senator Mike Crapo (202-224-6142), or Representative Mike Simpson (202-225-5531) during business hours.

Abby Rowe, University of Idaho


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