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June 10th, 2009
Grijalva Supports Bill to Help Improve American Foreign Relations

Washington, D.C. – Today, Congressman Raúl M. Grijalva voted in favor of a bill to help repair damaged U.S. relations with other nations by implementing a balanced foreign policy that gives prominence to diplomacy and development abroad.

The Foreign Relations Authorization Act will help close the “diplomacy gap” that has come from years of under-resourcing the State Department. The bill provides resources to fill an additional 1,500 posts in the Foreign Service over the next two years. In addition, it will help fund important work in the areas of arms control, nuclear nonproliferation, peacekeeping, financial commitments to international organizations, Peace Corps funding and oversight, anti-drug trafficking initiatives and oversight of U.S. security assistance.

“It is time to build strong and equitable relations with our friends and allies around the world,” said Grijalva. “During the Bush years, U.S. diplomacy and development activities were terribly neglected and underfunded. With this legislation, we advance our true national interests by acting on our values and providing much-needed security and service programs to troubled regions.”

This bill helps implement President Obama’s foreign policy vision. It is designed to protect the national security interests of the United States by bolstering diplomacy and development. Using diplomacy to prevent conflict and failed states is much more cost-effective for U.S. taxpayers than providing massive amounts of humanitarian relief, funding peacekeeping operations or, in the most extreme circumstances, putting U.S. boots on the ground.

The legislation is supported by a broad coalition, including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, faith-based groups and humanitarian NGOs, such as Oxfam and CARE and the National Peace Corps Association.

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