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Melinda Gates, Co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and Dr. Fred Sai, distinguished Ghanaian physician and Honorary Co-Chair, greet each other.
Flickr/Women Deliver/Sam Hurd

Melinda Gates Just Posted the Perfect Response to Trump’s Proposed Foreign Aid Cuts

On Monday, the Trump administration released its 2019 fiscal year budget request — and it’s safe to say Melinda Gates is not a fan. 

The budget would decimate foreign affairs spending, to the tune of a 30% decrease from 2017. 

For Gates, a renowned philanthropist and Global Citizen, these cuts could jeopardize some of the progress the Gates Foundation has achieved in combating poverty around the world, taking health, educational, and other resources away from men, women, and children in developing countries. 

So, as seems to be the norm in 2018, she took to Twitter to express her dismay and demand more from the US government. 

Take Action: Call on Your Leaders to #StoptheCuts Before They Happen and Protect Foreign Aid

Calling the proposed cuts a “misguided approach… toward global health & development,” Gates’ eight-tweet thread argued that the budget “falls far short of America’s longstanding aid commitments.” 

The 2019 fiscal year budget includes deep spending cuts to some of the agencies that support Global Citizen’s campaigns across the country and around the world. This includes cuts of 5% or more to the Environmental Protection Agency, the Department of Education, and even the Small Business Administration.

The 2019 budget also proposes cutting the international affairs budget by $8.9 billion, which would represent a 23% decrease from 2018. 

Read More: White House Budget Seeks 30% Cut to Foreign Aid From 2017 Levels

These cuts are in keeping with the president’s “America first” platform, with which the president has proposed cuts to foreign affairs spending while calling for increased spending on defense and veterans affairs. 

Trump doubled down on this vision in his February State of the Union address, calling for “American foreign-assistance dollars [to] always serve American interests, and only go to friends of America, not enemies of America.” 

In their annual letter, released Tuesday, Bill and Melinda Gates, whose $40 billion charitable foundation (a partner of Global Citizen) works in more than 100 countries around the world, said that if the proposed budget were to pass in Congress, “people in other countries will die, and Americans will be worse off.” 

Read More: Bill and Melinda Gates Reveal the 10 Toughest Questions They Get Asked

In that letter, they also credited Congress for having moved to put money back into the 2018 foreign affairs budget after Trump proposed cutting it by 32% last March. In the end, this year’s foreign affairs budget request, which will be finalized by March 23, is expected to be 10% lower than it was in 2017, a far cry from the 32% the Trump administration had proposed. 

And that was in small part thanks to the thousands of actions Global Citizens took to #StopTheCuts and protect foreign aid. You can join us and call on members of Congress to protect the 2019 foreign aid budget here