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Foreign Affairs

While much of the power to conduct foreign affairs is granted to the president by the U.S. Constitution, Congress can and should still shape foreign policy and play a vital role in ensuring the world remains a safe place and that our citizens are protected from harm.

For example, Congress maintains control over the “purse strings” and funds our national defense and foreign assistance. As a member of the House Appropriations Committee, I have had the opportunity to see firsthand how foreign assistance is used to support American values all over the world. On average, about one percent of foreign aid is provided as direct budget support (cash) to foreign governments. The remainder of aid is given in the form of expert technical advice, training, equipment, vaccines, food, educational exchanges and applied research. Much of the work done by America and its citizens internationally is crucial to lifting developing countries out of poverty and promoting long-term development.

Additionally, through the appropriations process, Congress can help ensure that funding goes to countries to build stability and counter international threats. Approximately 1.3 percent of the total federal budget is designated for foreign assistance from all federal sources. Aid that promotes global prosperity, democracy and rule of law, economic growth and humanitarian interests reflects American values and global leadership.

More on Foreign Affairs

May 6, 2004 Press Release
Washington, D.C. – Congressman Cole today voted for a resolution that condemns the abuse of prisoners in U.S. custody in Iraq. H. Res. 627 also emphasized that alleged crimes of a few should not detract from the commendable sacrifices of over 300,000 members of the Armed Forces who have served, or who are serving in Operation Iraqi Freedom.
October 31, 2003 Press Release
Washington, D.C. – Congressman Cole voted today to provide $87.5 billion to support U.S. troops and rebuild Iraq.
October 20, 2003 Press Release
Washington, D.C. – After an important vote to provide $87 billion to support U.S. troops and rebuild Iraq, Congressman Tom Cole along with eight other Members of Congress boarded an Air Force C-32, the military version of the Boeing 757-200, and traveled to Kuwait City, Kuwait and then to Baghdad and Mosul, Iraq.
April 11, 2003 Press Release
Washington D.C. – Today, Congressman Tom Cole, introduced legislation (H. Resolution 198) urging France, Germany and Russia to help Iraq in its rebuilding process by forgiving the debts of the regime of Saddam Hussein to their respective countries.

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