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Conservative Review

Vote Alert: Pass a bill that will lead to continued nation-building

The House of Representatives voted on the Global Fragility and Violence Reduction Act of 2018, a bill that directs the federal government to create an interagency initiative to prevent violence and stabilize foreign countries where conflict exists. Though noble in its intentions to reduce global violence, this legislation will lead to continued and open-ended nation-building overseas, committing the American government to develop foreign countries at the taxpayer’s expense.

It calls for the government to identify at least six countries or regions and develop 10-year plans to address conflicts in those regions to strategically reduce violence there. The bill commits the U.S. Department of Defense provide “security” for stabilization activities of the Department of State and U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). The bill also requires that the initiative be developed in coordination with foreign governments and mandates regular reports to Congress on all funding requested, planned, and projected to execute these programs.

In short, this bill invites an expansion of U.S. foreign aid and involvement in foreign affairs designed to build up the institutions of foreign nations. It is not the role of American government to secure good government for foreign countries in violent areas of the world without clearly defined U.S. national security interests. Violence in other countries that might lead to future terroristic threats is not a clearly defined national security interest. The United States cannot be expected to go in search of monsters to destroy.

In the realm of foreign policy and national security, Congress should always have an inward focus and be accountable to the voters for any actions — aggressive or defensive. This bill would create separate funding and policy ranks and expand the power of bureaucracies to influence future foreign actions and initiatives. This further expands the government, cedes autonomy to non-elected officials, and ties the hands of Congress for independent action while committing the U.S. government to foreign involvement indefinitely.

The House of Representatives passed the bill on November 27, 2018, at 7:08 p.m. in a roll call vote of 376 – 16.

To see how your elected officials stack up or other votes that compose the Liberty Score, view our full scorecard here.

Conservative position: NO

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