Tibet: Risks from the debt ceiling deal

On Thursday, August 4, 2011, in Tibetan Politics, US Government, by Todd Stein

Passage of the debt ceiling/deficit reduction legislation earlier this week ends the crisis mentality that has gripped Washington in recent weeks.  However, the issue will come to a head toward the end of the year when lawmakers must make a choice: approve a massive $1.5 trillion deficit reduction package crafted by a special committee or let automatic across-the-board cuts go into effect.

One thing we know for certain: spending cuts are coming and they will be huge.

For friends of Tibet, the news is good and bad.  The good news is that the seven Tibet programs comprise a mere three one-hundredths of one percent of the overall international affairs budget, which in turn is only five percent of the total discretionary  budget, which is just one third of the overall federal budget. (See a history of Tibet funding here.)

The bad news is that with $1.5 trillion on the chopping block, nothing is likely to be spared.  Already, big-time Washington lobbyists are gearing up to defend their client industries (defense, health care) from cuts.

Tibet doesn’t have big-time lobbyists (we’re modest here at ICT), but it does have you: constituents who care about Tibet and are willing to be vocal in defense of programs that help Tibetans.

In order to help save Tibet from the budget axe, please take a minute of your time and send a message to your Member of Congress.  We’ve made it easy for you, just click this link and send the prepared message, or insert one of your own.

Tibet support programs have long enjoyed bipartisan support on the Hill.   It is important that your elected representatives hear that Tibet is personally important to you, and that these programs are minimal-cost, yet high-yield investments to preserve the distinct Tibetan identity, which is a U.S. policy goal.

Thank you!

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