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Talking Points for Calls to Senators:

I am calling to urge Senator [insert name] to sign the bipartisan letter that Sens. Kerry (D-MA), Lugar (R-IN) and others are circulating in the Senate.  It calls upon Appropriations Committee Chair Daniel Inouye (D-HI) and Ranking Member Thad Cochran (R-MS) to fully fund the President’s FY 11 $58.8 billion International Affairs Budget request.

A mere 1.4% of federal spending, the International Affairs Budget is a smart investment that tackles the roots causes of conflict and extremism, responds to humanitarian crises such as the earthquake in Haiti, and creates American jobs by developing new business markets for U.S. exports.  It funds important diplomatic and development programs that help make America safer, more prosperous, and a moral leader around the world.

National security and foreign policy experts across the political spectrum – including all eight former Secretaries of State -- agree the International Affairs Budget is essential to our national security.  But as Defense Secretary Robert Gates has stated, “It has become clear that America’s civilian institutions of diplomacy and development have been chronically undermanned and underfunded for far too long…relative to the responsibilities and challenges our nation has around the world.”

Please sign on to the bipartisan Senate letter in support of these critical investments.