Today Simon Rosenberg released the following press statement:
The Senate Appropriations Committee should include the $775 million requested by the Administration for its proposed MENA Incentive Fund in its State/Foreign Operations mark up later this week. The Fund is a smart and appropriate response to the rapidly evolving, and deeply promising, events in North Africa and the Middle East. It will give the Administration a modest and flexible budget to aid the democratic transitions taking place in the region; transitions that America has long sought and sacrificed so much to help bring about.
Including the MENA-IF in the Senate Foreign Operations Bill is particularly important as the House Republicans, irresponsibly and recklessly, refused to include it in their recently passed version of the legislation. At a time when the people of North Africa and the Middle East are struggling with such dignity to improve their societies, it is essential the government of the United States make a clear statement of support for their efforts by funding this initiative. If Republicans leaders are unhappy with the current MENA-IF, they should propose amendments or an alternative approach rather than rejecting the entire initiative. Simply refusing to support the Fund will send a terrible signal to the people of this region working to bring about the next stage of these historic transitions already underway.
So to our friends on the Senate Appropriations Committee, we strongly encourage you to include funding of the MENA-IF in the State/Foreign Operations mark up.