Not all Republicans are opposed to foreign aid, and even those who are, have much to say regarding its usage in the American budget. The following are five quotes from various Republican politicians regarding their views on foreign aid.
1. “It has been hard to muster the resources to support fledgling democracies–or to help the world’s most desperate… yet this assistance–together with the compassionate works of private charities–people of conscience and people of faith–has shown the soul of our country.” – Former Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice (2012 Republican Convention)
2. “But too often our passion for charity is tempered by our sense that our aid is not always effective. We see stories of cases where American aid has been diverted to corrupt governments. We wonder why years of aid and relief seem never to extinguish the hardship, why the suffering persists decade after decade. Perhaps some of our disappointments are due to our failure to recognize just how much the developing world has changed. Many of our foreign aid efforts were designed at a time when government development assistance accounted for roughly 70 percent of all resources flowing to developing nations. Today, 82 percent of the resources flowing into the developing world come from the private sector. If foreign aid can leverage this massive investment by private enterprise, it may exponentially expand the ability to not only care for those who suffer, but also to change lives.” – 2012 Presidential Candidate Mitt Romney (in an address to the Clinton Global Initiative, 2012)
3. “For development to play its full role in our national security structure, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) must be a strong agency with the resources to accomplish the missions we give it. But during the last two decades, decision-makers have not made it easy for USAID to perform its vital function. Even as we have rediscovered the importance of foreign assistance, we find ourselves with a frail foundation to support a robust development strategy. I believe the starting point for any future design of our assistance programs and organization should not be the status quo, but rather the period in which we had a well functioning and well-resourced aid agency.” – Senator Dick Lugar (Statement on Foreign Assistance Revitalization and Accountability Act, 2009)
4. “Foreign aid is also an important part of America’s foreign policy leadership. While we certainly must be careful about spending money on foreign aid, the reality is that it is not the reason we have a growing debt problem.” – Senator Marco Rubio (Foreign Policy address at the Jesse Helms Center, 2011)
5. “But I would just tell my fellow citizens and people from South Carolina, I want to shape the world the best we can rather than just follow the world and if you don’t believe military force is the answer to every problem, which I don’t, then we need an engagement strategy, and sometimes investing in a country at the right time can pay dividends.” – Senator Lindsey Graham (in a hearing, 2008)
– Samantha Davis