Mike Lee warns Trump about taxpayer funding of Soros groups overseas–3gh.,b49
For eight years, U.S. foreign assistance was tied to a leftist political agenda rather than American interests, and it’s now up to President Donald Trump to correct that, Sen. Mike Lee said Tuesday. Lee took particular aim at U.S. support during the Obama administration for the overseas work of nonprofits bankrolled by liberal billionaire George Soros.
“Whatever one’s views about abortion, energy regulation, alternative family structures, they are neither core international priorities of the American people, nor essential to American national security. They are domestic political controversies, pet causes of a sort of privileged, globalist elite,” Lee said in the speech at The Heritage Foundation.
“President Trump and his team must change the culture of American diplomacy towards one that prioritizes American interests and respects the sovereignty and self-determination of other peoples,” Lee said.
Trump’s fiscal year 2018 budget proposal would cut funding for the State Department and USAID by 28 percent.
When the State Department and USAID have provided millions of American taxpayer dollars to organizations in Eastern Europe associated with well-known progressive advocates like George Soros and his Open Society Foundations, who make no secrets about the kinds of politics they support?
The mission of USAID, which has a $22.7 billion annual budget, is to fight poverty and promote democracy abroad.
“USAID is committed to accountability and transparency and to the oversight of U.S. government funds to ensure they are not subject to waste, fraud, or abuse,” the spokesman said in an email. “USAID regularly conducts rigorous reviews and audits of programs implemented by partner organizations. These reviews are conducted to measure the programs’ effectiveness and efficiency and to ensure their compliance with applicable statutes, regulations, and policies.”
From 2012 through 2016, USAID gave $4.8 million to Foundation Open Society-Macedonia, a division of the Soros-funded nonprofit, “in partnership with four local civil society organizations,” according to the agency’s website.
We do spend nearly a billion dollars of our own money each year funding a wide range of groups that promote human rights, democracy, and good governance.
Lee and five other Republican senators last month wrote Secretary of State Rex Tillerson asking for a review of USAID dollars going to fund political causes, including Soros’ Open Society Foundations.
USAID doesn’t have a presence in Ireland, for example, according to James Walsh, a former member of Ireland’s senate. Walsh spoke at Heritage’s forum about how the State Department has backed progressive causes in Ireland, including abortion and same-sex marriage.
source–fred lucas, the dailt signal, mike lee, katie o, usaid, maxim tucker, open society