"We are quickly pivoting from advising Congress on our points of view to being a major support for congressional offices to help challenge some of the assumptions the office of management and budget are making, " said Liz Marcey, Senior Policy Advocate at CARE. "We take heart in the fact that Congress has the power of the purse, and they are pushing back."
"I've never seen this level of cooperation, certainly across large NGOs to work together to make the broader case for defending U.S. poverty fighting efforts and humanitarian response."
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Part of those strategies include rallying the troops of supporters to tell Washington why it matters that this funding doesn't disappear. For religious organizations like CRS, that means getting the church involved as well."In our advocacy work, we are bringing more and more Catholic leaders to Washington to raise the importance of international assistance on Capitol Hill. Voices from across the Catholic church join us in this effort because they recognize the value of our partnership with the US government.' Jill Gerschutz, Senior Legislative Specialist for CRS, told VICE Impact.While many believe it's an important moral imperative as an American value to reduce poverty and provide aid to those in need, it's also a matter of national security -- a term that the Trump administration has put at the forefront of its rhetoric.
Former military leaders from the military have even aligned voices to show why it matters. This spring, over 120 retired four and five star generals wrote a letter to leaders -- including Sec. of State Rex Tillerson - speaking to the importance of that funding to national security in particular. "We urge you to ensure that resources for the International Affairs Budget keep pace with the growing global threats and opportunities we face. Now is not the time to retreat," the letter reads.
"We are looking for what programs can be funded through other mechanisms."
When asked what the public can do to prevent the cuts Marcey didn't hesitate to respond. "The people being impacted by these potential budget cuts can't pick up the phone and call their member of Congress. It's up to us," she said, adding: "They are so grateful for our support and are making leaps and bounds in order to escape poverty and stand on their own two feet. They're hoping Americans continue to stand up for them."Learn more about CARE's 'Don't Cut Lives' Campaign or take action with Oxfam.Call your elected officials and let them know how you feel about the decision. If you don't know how to reach your representatives use this link or widget below.