The Senate Appropriations Committee yesterday marked-up the State Department and Foreign Operations bill and included $1 billion for the Middle East and North Africa Incentive Fund. NDN has been outspoken advocates of this program and Simon Rosenberg today issued the following statement:
The Senate made a smart decision today by fully funding the Middle East North African Incentive Fund in State/Foreign Operations Appropriated bill which passed earlier this morning. As we’ve written elsewhere, this Fund is a critical tool to let our nation do what it can to support the promising transitions unfolding in the region these past 18 months.
We are particularly pleased that Republican Senator Lindsay Graham has been such a strong advocate of the Fund. His leadership will be needed to bring other Republicans along to ensure that the Fund makes it through the full Senate, and then reinstated in conference with the House, which refused to include it in their recently passed appropriations bill.
As we watch the historic election in Egypt unfold today, it is clear that America must do more to support these transition nations struggling to find a better path for themselves and their people. Standing up the MENA-IF is the single most important thing our nation can do this year to support the MENA transition countries. It should be supported by legislators of both parties, and passed without delay.
This is unambiguously good news and a positive step forward for both U.S. interests and the Middle East more broadly. Senator Graham’s leadership will, indeed, be incredibly important and he should be commended. You can call his office to thank him for his support here, and the other members of the sub-committee can be reached here.