Wisconsin residents head to Washington, urge Speaker Ryan to protect foreign aid

WASHINGTON   Released last week, President Trump’s budget request for Fiscal Year 2019 includes a roughly 30 percent cut to the international affairs budget from the FY17 enacted level. Later this month, two Wisconsin residents, Lynn Otto and Scott Petersen, will travel to Washington, D.C. to urge Speaker Paul Ryan to protect funding for the nation’s diplomacy and development programs, which save innocent lives, create jobs here in America and make our nation safer.

“Now is the time for leaders like Paul Ryan to stand up, speak out, and protect the international affairs budget, which helps advance America’s foreign policy and national security objectives,” said Lynn Otto of Kenosha. “If I could tell Speaker Ryan one thing, it would be that I’m a Wisconsinite, and my neighbors and I care about the international affairs budget. With all that’s going on in the world, is now really the time to be cutting support for people that make it more stable and prevent conflicts? We need more diplomacy and development, not less. Failure to invest in the world’s poorest countries will squander this golden opportunity to harness Africa’s population boom by 2050 and help end extreme poverty once and for all. It’s important to me that Speaker Ryan is a leader on this, and I’ll be paying close attention to his actions in Congress.”

“When my son was born with a rare heart condition and underwent open-heart surgery at ten weeks old, my family was terrified. But we were blessed to live here in Wisconsin, nearby Children’s Hospital, where my son received the professional care that saved his life. Sadly, there are too many places in the world, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa, where people do not have access to basic medicine, let alone a quality hospital.” said Scott Petersen of Greendale. “No matter where you are born, in Milwaukee or sub-Saharan Africa, every child should have the opportunity to grow up to their potential. I want Speaker Ryan to know that people in Wisconsin care deeply about fighting global extreme poverty and protecting the international affairs budget. My neighbors and I want Congressman Ryan to be a champion for those who do not have a voice, and we’ll be watching to see if he delivers.”

The upcoming trip is part of The ONE Campaign’s annual Power Summit, which brings some of the global organization’s most elite volunteers from across the country together in the nation’s capital for cutting-edge training on advocating for the fight against global poverty and preventable diseases. In addition to meeting with their members of Congress, the three-day summit, which will take place February 24-26, 2018 at Gallaudet University in Washingtonwill offer attendees the opportunity to hear from some of the political and policy figures who’ve led the fight against extreme poverty and disease.

“Our nation’s budget is a reflection of American leadership and American values,” said Tom Hart, North America executive director for The ONE Campaign. “Our nation’s elected leaders need to hear from their constituents about why the international affairs budget is such an important part of maintaining America’s standing abroad and advancing our strategic foreign policy interests. We hope leaders in Congress will listen to their constituents and fully reject any proposed cuts to the international affairs budget.”

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