Media CenterUSCCB and CRS Respond to Administration’s Call for Rescissions of $2-4 Billion of Funds for State Department and USAID
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Catholic Relief Services
WASHINGTON, DC, August 13, 2019 -- In a letter from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to the Department of State and USAID, the Administration froze between $2-4 billion that Congress approved, and the Administration signed into law for America’s development and diplomacy programs. While OMB has lifted the freeze, this is the first step in a potential rescission of the appropriated but “unobligated funds” (not yet been committed to a specific contract or project) for 10 State Department and U.S. Agency for International Development accounts.
The Most Reverend Timothy P. Broglio, Chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on International Justice and Peace and Archbishop for the Military Services USA, and Sean Callahan, President & CEO of Catholic Relief Services, issued the following statement opposing these cuts:
“Local churches and Catholic Relief Services partner with the U.S. government to reduce poverty, alleviate suffering, and foster peace around the world. Rescinding some of these and other international poverty-reducing funds will limit the United States’ ability to support poor and vulnerable communities, respond to global health challenges, address root causes of forced migration, and advance international religious freedom, global security, and peacekeeping. From Central America to the West Bank and Gaza, U.S. policy decisions that cut foreign aid already increase poverty and create a vacuum for instability.
We urge the Administration not to rescind foreign assistance funds. We urge Congress to reject any rescissions that target poverty-reducing and peacebuilding accounts and require the Administration to obligate previously appropriated funds. The conflicts and crises today are dire. U.S. moral and financial leadership is necessary.”
Archbishop Broglio and CRS chairman Bishop Gregory Mansour also sent a joint letter to the Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, urging him not to rescind international funds intended to support U.S. diplomatic and development efforts.