Diaz-Balart: SFOPS Appropriations Keeps U.S. National Security Interests at Forefront, Supports Allies
WASHINGTON – Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart (FL-25) released the following statement after the House Appropriations Committee approved the State and Foreign Operations bill for fiscal year 2018.
“The United States and its allies must be well prepared during times of global instability, like the one we currently face. Our country must assert its dominance in the global arena, keeping our national security interests at the forefront. Supporting strategic allies, including Israel, Jordan, and Georgia, is critical to regional stability. This legislation also provides for the fight against ISIS and other terror groups who encroach on our freedom and American values. At the same time, fighting the war on drugs and curtailing human trafficking will help create stability in Central America and elsewhere. The legislation also creates strict metrics to ensure that Colombia begins to slow down its coca production. Also, by providing funds to democracy programming in Cuba and Venezuela, we are helping the oppressed people of these nations realize their democratic aspirations. This bill goes a long way in supporting our allies, and standing up to our enemies, and I congratulate Subcommittee Chairman Rogers on the committee approval of this legislation.
“Once again, we are moving all twelve bills through regular order, and because of Chairman Frelinghuysen’s leadership, we were able to accomplish this within a month’s time. I especially want to applaud his efforts throughout the entire appropriations process.”
Highlights from the legislation include:
- $3.1 billion for security assistance to Israel
- $6 billion to fight HIV/AIDS around the globe
- $336 million for assistance to Colombia, including economic support funds, international narcotics control and law enforcement dollars, and foreign military financing
- $358 million to assist in the fight against ISIS and other terrorist groups
- $30 million for Cuba democracy programming
- $8 million for Venezuela democracy programming
- Increased funding for our strategic allies, including Ukraine, Georgia, Egypt, Jordan, Morocco, and Tunisia
- $28 million for the Office of Cuba Broadcasting
- $105 million for the Countering Russian Influence Fund
- $615 million for United States strategy for engagement in Central America
- $334 million for the Central America Regional Security Initiative