BRAD SHERMAN: ADMINISTRATION’S BUDGET REQUEST WHOLLY INADEQUATE
14.02.2008 17:13 GMT+04:00
/PanARMENIAN.Net/ Congressman Brad Sherman (D-CA) raised strong
concerns regarding the Administration’s proposed budget for Armenia
during the House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing with Secretary of
State Condoleezza Rice, the Armenian Assembly of America reported.
In response to Sherman’s statement, Secretary Rice replied that Armenia
also receives funding through the Millennium Challenge Act (MCA). In
March of 2006, the United States and Armenia concluded a 5-year,
$235.65 million compact under the MCA to help reduce rural poverty and
increase agricultural productivity in Armenia. This funding is separate
and distinct from the funding provided under the Freedom Support Act.
Sherman told the Armenian Assembly that "the Administration’s budget
request is wholly inadequate.
Assistance provided under the MCA is not a substitute for other
important programs in Armenia provided under the Freedom Support
Act. I will work with my colleagues to correct this gross disparity."
Condoleezza Rice was on Capitol Hill testifying regarding the
Administration’s Fiscal Year 2009 International Affairs Budget. The
Administration’s budget slashed funding to Armenia by nearly 60 percent
from $58.5 million in FY 2008 to a proposed level of $24 million in
The budget request also called for more military funding for
Azerbaijan; a clear breach of the agreement reached with Congress
in 2001 regarding military parity for both countries. Under the
Administration’s budget request, Azerbaijan is slated to receive
$900,000 in International Military Education Training compared to
$300,000 for Armenia.
"We commend Congressman Sherman for raising this concern directly with
the Secretary. The Armenian Assembly strongly opposes the allocation
level as proposed by Administration and will fight to ensure robust
assistance for Armenia," stated Executive Director Bryan Ardouny.
From: Emil Lazarian | Ararat NewsPress