WKU students take global poverty fight to Capitol Hill

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WASHINGTON (Gray DC) - Western Kentucky University students are pressing their lawmakers in Washington this week. As part of the ONE Campaign, they are advocating for their leaders to take action to end global poverty. President Trump recently sent his 2019 budget proposal to Congress that calls for a 26-percent cut to State Department and other international programs.

Rep. Brett Guthrie (R-KY) says the U.S. can no longer afford to be a paternal figure to other countries.

“We want to let our representatives and senators know that we want them to fight for this,” said Amanda Collins.

Collins and Nicole Camargo say they want their lawmakers to maintain the current level of funding to help in the fight against global poverty.

“There’s millions of people that our programs help so I think we can always do better and do more to help them,” said Collins.

The ONE Campaign is an advocacy group seeking to end extreme poverty and preventable disease. Camargo says their united front can help guide lawmakers.

“I feel each of us has a moral responsibility to use our voice to help others and make a better world,” said Camargo.

One of the lawmakers the students spoke to Rep. Brett Guthrie (R-KY). Guthrie says Congress needs to hit the brakes on spending.

“We have to get a handle on our budget deficit and I had to explain to them that we’re borrowing money against their future,” said Guthrie.

Guthrie says he agrees with much of what the students brought to the table. But, he says the foreign aid needs to be used by countries to lift themselves out of poverty.

“How do we spend it wisely? And not just give it to them but to give it to them in a way that encourages investment,” said Guthrie.

Before lawmakers address the 2019 budget, they need to finish the 2018 budget. Guthrie is hopeful that happens in March.