USAID chief: GOP's budget will cost 70,000 children's lives abroad

Coming soon to a Chuck Schumer press conference near you.

“We estimate, and I believe these are very conservative estimates, that H.R. 1 would lead to 70,000 kids dying,” USAID Administrator Rajiv Shah testified before the House Appropriations State and Foreign Ops subcommittee.

“Of that 70,000, 30,000 would come from malaria control programs that would have to be scaled back specifically. The other 40,000 is broken out as 24,000 would die because of a lack of support for immunizations and other investments and 16,000 would be because of a lack of skilled attendants at birth,” he said…

Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. (D-IL) pointed out that H.R. 1 would provide $430 million for the International Disaster Assistance (IDA) account, which is 50 percent below the president’s fiscal 2011 request and 67 percent below fiscal 2010 levels…

Granger said she would support USAID programs that have national security implications or contribute to the ongoing missions in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan. Her Democratic counterpart, Rep. Nita Lowey (D-NY), said that national security is threatened by instability in other parts of the world as well.

“Drastic cuts to USAID would risk a great deal in stability and security around the world which could spawn the kinds of threats that cost this country the lives of men and women in uniform and billions in treasure,” she said.

File this away in your “Because of the Children” folder for when Democrats start screaming about how we can’t cut funding for Planned Parenthood either. A few questions. One: Am I hallucinating or is H.R. 1 only on the table right now because Democrats failed to pass their own budget last year when they had the chance — in part because vulnerable Blue Dogs were nervous about voting for another bank-breaker before the midterms? What happened there? They could have saved 70,000 children! Two: Since we’re on the subject of national security, haven’t we been warned recently by both Hillary Clinton and Mike Mullen that the national debt is a national security threat? In fact, according to Mullen, it’s the national security threat, the “most significant” one we face. That being so, if Nita Lowey’s such a security-minded patriot, will she and her liberal pals decide to embrace the GOP’s Balanced Budget Amendment? Or is she prepared to see American interests abroad crumble because, hey, we don’t touch Social Security here at home and that’s just the way it is? Three: Time magazine is precisely right that foreign aid is virtually the only component of federal spending that majorities support cutting, in part because they wrongly believe we spend way, way more on it than we really do. In which case, why don’t we deal forthrightly with what’s really driving the debt by reforming entitlements? That’ll disabuse the public of their misconceptions about foreign aid, thereby restoring some support for it, while freeing up loads of money for anti-malaria programs as far as the eye can see. Bipartisan support for USAID via revamping Medicare! Who’s with me?

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