Senator Marco Rubio, R-Fla., gave a big foreign policy speech at the Brookings Institution yesterday. In his remarks, he explored what Americans need to do at this juncture, abroad and at home, to adapt and prepare for the changing international environment in the years ahead. And once again, he expressed his support for US foreign aid, as outlined in his comments below:
“Faced with historic deficits and a dangerous national debt, there has been increasing talk of reducing our foreign aid budget. But we need to remember that these international coalitions that we have the opportunity to lead are not just military ones, they can also be humanitarian ones. In every region of the world, we should always search for ways to use U.S. aid and humanitarian assistance to strengthen our influence, the effectiveness of our leadership, and the service of our interests and ideals.
When done so effectively, in partnership with the private sector, with faith-based organizations, and our allies, foreign aid is a very cost-effective way not only to export our values and our example, but to advance our security and economic interests.
One of the programs I am proudest of is the effort that began under President George W. Bush with robust Congressional support and has continued under President Obama and that is to combat AIDS in Africa. Millions of human beings are alive today because the United States and others in the global community are paying for their anti-viral medications. This investment allows us to say without any hint of exaggeration that by 2015, the world could see the beginning of the end of AIDS, something that was unthinkable just a few years ago.
We need to continue this kind of foreign aid investment, but not just in PEPFAR, but in malaria control, vaccine programs and agriculture initiatives so that we can make similar strides in preventing hunger and establishing a healthier global community.”
Read the full transcript here, and listen to his speech in the player above.