WASHINGTON - Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) and a group of Senators called on Secretary of State Rex W. Tillerson today to immediately investigate how US funds are being used by the State Department and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) to support left-of-center political groups and impress left-leaning policies on sovereign nations, regardless of their desire for self-determination. One such group is USAID multi-grant recipient, the George Soros-backed Open Society Foundations. Sen. Lee and his colleagues believe this behavior is unacceptable and must be halted immediately.
Sens. Inhofe (R-OK), Tillis (R-NC), Cruz (R-TX), Perdue (R-GA), and Cassidy (R-LA) join in signing the letter.
“Over the past few months, elected officials and political leaders of foreign nations have been coming to me with disappointing news and reports of US activity in their respective countries. This includes reports of diplomats playing political favorites, USAID funds supporting extreme and sometimes violent political activists, and the US Government working to marginalize the moderates and conservatives in leadership roles,” Sen. Lee said. “This sort of political favoritism from our missions around the world is unacceptable and endangers our bilateral relationships.”
The letter calls on Secretary Tillerson to, “…investigate all funds associated with promoting democracy and governance and review the programs, accounts, and multiplicity of US entities involved in such activities. We must … review how all our tax dollars are being utilized in order to halt activities that are fomenting political unrest, disrespecting national sovereignty and civil society, and ultimately undermine our attempts to build beneficial international relationships.”
The most damaging consequence of the United States weighing in so heavily on one side of the political spectrum abroad is that we ostracize many foreign citizens who have traditionally supported strong relations with the United States. Such division allows aggressive opportunists like Russia space to operate and cause further damage.
Sen. Lee is hopeful Secretary Tillerson acts quickly on this issue and looks forward to continuing to work with him in the future.