Earlier this month, Rep. Larry Bucshon (R-IN) gave a sit-down interview with local television station WJTS, and when sequestration came up, Buchson was saddened by the grounding of the Navy’s Blue Angels stunt flying group.
Luckily, Bucshon knows where to cut the federal budget to make room for the Angels to take to the sky again — the U.S.’ foreign aid overseas:
BUSCHON: Well, it costs about $37 million for the Blue Angels to fly for an entire year. Okay. The President just went overseas and offered some — Jordan, $150 million in more aid. We just offered other countries millions of dollars in more foreign aid. Yet we can’t continue to fund one of the biggest promoters of the military that helps them with recruiting and also has such a big impact on local economies when they show up for their airshows. That we have to not do that yet we can give millions of dollars in foreign aid when we’re holding back on our own citizens.
The funding Buschon describes serves an important purpose. During his trip to Jordan in March, President Obama announced an increase in U.S. funding to Syrian refugees who fled the ongoing conflict in their country. Over 500,000 Syrian refugees currently make their home in Jordan, with the 175,000 in the Zartarri refugee camp making it the 5th largest city in the country. Even with the Obama administration’s pledge, the funding request for humanitarian aid to Syrian refugees remains more than $500 million short of what’s needed.
Buschon, unfortunately, isn’t alone in his desire to cut out crucial foreign aid to reduce federal spending. The already treacherous ground for increasing foreign aid has only grown more fraught since the impact of sequestration kicked in. His fellow Republicans — often citing foreign aid as a much greater percentage of the budget than the less than 1 percent it currently makes up — have been seeking to reduce international funding since retaking the House of Representatives in 2011.