BROOKLYN, NY – United States Democratic Congresswoman Barbara Lee has welcomed the passage of a bill in the United States House of Representatives that would provide what she describes as “historic funding” for Caribbean countries.
Lee, chair of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs, applauded the passage of H.R. 4373, The State, Foreign, Operations and Related Programs Appropriations Act.
The measure provides US$05 million in funding for the Caribbean, a 25 percent increase over last year’s enacted amount, and US$10 million specifically for new projects to promote inclusive economic growth.
“The islands of the Caribbean represent America’s third border, and I am proud that we share a vibrant cultural, social, and economic bond,” said Lee.
“Thirteen million Americans, over four percent of the US population, trace their heritage to the Caribbean. It’s crucial that we re-establish our partnership with countries in the Caribbean and invest in the economic growth and development of our neighbors to the south,” the Congresswoman said.
She said that a portion of the US$105 million in funding would go to support the Caribbean Basin Security Initiative, a landmark arrangement that allows the US government to partner with Caribbean countries on shared security challenges like transnational crime.
Lee said the bill further includes US$10 million for new projects in the Caribbean to promote inclusive economic growth.
Lee has been a long-time advocate for the Caribbean and is a member of the Congressional Caribbean Caucus. She led the charge in 2005 to officially name June Caribbean Heritage Month.