Congress is considering legislation that would support humanitarian assistance programs in African nations and other impoverished countries. When it comes to U.S. national security, the economy and our global interests, I believe that American foreign assistance programs represent the best bang for our buck. These programs cost less than one-half of 1 percent of the U.S. budget, yet the education and health care that these programs support can bring stability and economic opportunities to those in countries where violence and crime are the only means to getting ahead.
In addition to the national security benefits of humanitarian assistance, there are moral aspects. Millions of children are alive and thriving today as a result of vaccination programs, anti-malarial bed nets and the construction of rural hospitals and schools that American foreign assistance projects have financed.
The U.S. tradition of extending a helping hand to people in countries devastated by natural disasters or civil strife is a point of national pride; a tradition that both parties have long supported. I have emailed Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers to ask for her support for these programs, and I encourage you to contact her to express your support as well.