Gaetz: Abolish USAID for 'Force-Feeding' Degeneracy Overseas

AP Photo/Jason Behnken

The “Firebrand” Florida Republican representing the Sunshine State Panhandle filed legislation today to shutter the U.S. Agency for International Development because of its record of pushing leftwing ideology rather than supporting American diplomacy, interests, and values overseas.

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“American taxpayer dollars are being wasted to fund radical leftist propaganda in foreign countries,” said Rep. Matt Gaetz (R.-Fla.) in a statement about his bill.

“The American people will not tolerate government-funded degeneracy at home, and we certainly will not accept its force-feeding abroad under Old Glory,” said Gaetz, who was joined as co-sponsors fellow House Republicans: Arizona’s Andy Biggs, Eli Crane, and Dr. Paul Gosar, Georgia’s Marjorie Taylor Greene and Florida’s and Anna Paulina Luna.

The legislation would zero out all federal funds available for USAID to further carry out any of the functions, duties, or responsibilities assigned or delegated to the agency. The Gaetz bill would also rescind the unobligated funds made available for the agency and transfer all other assets or liabilities to the Secretary of State.

Gaetz said once USAID is abolished, it will not be missed.

“USAID does not serve a meaningful purpose,” the host of the “Firebrand Podcast with Matt Gaetz” said.

President John F. Kennedy founded the agency in his first year in office as part of his agenda to use soft power overseas. Today, the agency is run by Samantha Power.

For years, USAID has been an incubator for corruption by its managers and recipients.

In 2011, the agency’s comptroller Michael A. Hase was sentenced to 29 months of federal lockup for bilking $47,000 in USAID funds which he transferred directly to his bank account. He also directed the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development to remit interest on loans to Armenian entities to his bank account—which he also did with United Nations when he was asked what to do with $11,000 in USAID grant funds that were not used.

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Hase also did not report as income the millions of dollars in interest he somehow earned in his Swiss bank accounts.

In July, the USAID Inspector General reported that it found that the unnamed senior leaders of an unnamed non-governmental organization (NG) operating in Africa falsified the records relating to a $4.7 million grant. The Justice Department declined criminal prosecution.

Another example is Carleene Graham, who worked for World Learning, a USAID recipient. In June, Graham pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud and promised to pay back the $47,000 she stole by misusing the non-profit’s credit cards and falsifying invoices and other records.

Then, there is the case of Dr. Venessa Kerry, the CEO of Global Seed Health. When Kerry’s father, Climate Change Tsar John F. Kerry, was chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, USAID gave Kerry’s outfit $2 million in September 2012. After Kerry père was elevated to Secretary of State, Global Seed Health raked in another $6.4 million in 2015 from USAID—and both grants were through non-compete contracts.

The Washington-based Heritage Foundation produced a 25-page May 2022 report on USAID’s corruption, mismanagement, and weaponization of the agency in the service of the Left.

The study’s three main takeaways were:

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  • U.S. foreign aid should focus on alleviating global poverty and increasing prosperity, not implementing a radical political agenda.
  • The Biden administration weaponizes foreign aid programs to fund abortion, gender and identity ideology, and climate alarmism.
  • Congress must prohibit taxpayer funds from supporting a divisive, political agenda and work to hold the U.S. foreign aid industry accountable.

Gaetz said: “It is used as a slush fund for international wokeism. Therefore, serious lawmakers in Congress should support its complete abolition.”

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