House votes to cut all funding for US Institute of Peace

By Eric W. Dolan
Thursday, February 17, 2011 18:45 EDT
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The US House of Representatives accepted an amendment to the Full-Year Continuing Appropriations Act for Fiscal Year 2011 on Thursday to eliminate all funding for the US Institute of Peace (USIP), an independent government-funded institution to analyze and prevent international conflict.

“I am very pleased my amendment to end federal funding for the US Institute of Peace was voted on and accepted by my colleagues in the House,” Rep. Chip Cravaack (D-MN), one of the co-sponsors of the amendment, said. “If signed into law, this amendment will save the taxpayers $42 million this year. Washington has been spending beyond its means for years. We must look for places to make cuts so we are not piling mountains of debt on future generations.”

The amendment was also co-sponsored by Reps. Anthony Weiner (D-NY) and Jason Chaffetz (R-UT). It was accepted by a 268 to 163 vote.

USIP was established by Congress in 1984 to provide “analysis, training and tools that help to prevent, manage and end violent international conflicts, promote stability and professionalize the field of peacebuilding.” The institute was responsible for the Iraq Study Group Report published in 2006 that criticized the US strategy in Iraq.

Rep. Cravaack said USIP was an “entirely redundant” institution, adding that its mission could be “accomplished by multiple other departments.”

“It is a sad day when the House votes to eliminate one of the few programs in the budget which is dedicated to conflict prevention and non-violence, while at the same time, enabling another $158 billion in the same budget for wars in Iraq and Afghanistan,” Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) said. “We have spent $1.1 trillion for war in the past decade, and in striking funding for USIP, Congress has demonstrated that it is on the war path. Everything in the path of war had better take careful notice.”

“The two wars will consume $42.7 million in 142 minutes if $158 billion can finance the wars for an entire year,” the congressman added.

“How ironic, even as our nation is at war in Afghanistan and shifting from war to peace in Iraq, that anyone in Congress could decide that now is the right time to undermine a proven, innovative congressional institution on the frontlines — helping US men and women in uniform, and on the civilian side, to save lives,” USIP President Richard Solomon wrote at Politico Thursday.

“USIP’s budget is miniscule—one tenth of 1 percent of the State Department budget — not even enough to cover 40 soldiers in Afghanistan for a year,” he continued. “Yet in the post-Cold War world, its influence has grown dramatically, as its programs have helped the country adjust to a new and challenging international environment.”

Eric W. Dolan
Eric W. Dolan
Eric W. Dolan has served as an editor for Raw Story since August 2010, and is based out of Sacramento, California. He grew up in the suburbs of Chicago and received a Bachelor of Science from Bradley University. Eric is also the publisher and editor of PsyPost. You can follow him on Twitter @ewdolan.
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  • Anonymous

    there is no money in peace. we pissed away our Clinton peace dividend by giving tax cuts to the wealthy under George W. Bush. Notice what bi-partisanship means? War. Something on which all of our leaders agree.

    how sad.

  • Anonymous

    On the one hand, this sounds really sucky. On the other hand, look how effective the USIP has been.

  • Anonymous

    If they’d have renamed it the Institute of War last year, they’d have gotten a funding increase.

    A couple nights ago in the middle of the night, the House republicons voted on a voice vote to continue $24 million annual funding for the Selective Service Bureau. That’s not a waste to them. What do those people do all day long who work there?

  • ghostof911

    You make a valid point. The warmongers have gained the upper hand, advocates for peace are close to being considered terrorists.


  • Anonymous


  • Anonymous

    In related news, House Republicans increased funding to the right-wing Institute of War, the right-wing Institute of Child Starvation, the right-wing Institute of Pregnant Women Dying, the right-wing Institute of Retired People Eating Cat Food, the religious right-wing Institute of Rapture Readiness, the right-wing Institute of Creationist Studies and the right-wing Institute of Budget-Busting Tax Cuts For The Wealthiest.

  • Anonymous

    When was the last time our country listened to anyone or anything remotely close to peace? I’m not saying the people in this group weren’t doing their jobs, but none of the warmongers were listening.

  • http://resror.myopenid.com/ Your Name

    “Peace is our profession.” — SAC

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_FONW6K3ZWV4BU4ZTCDCSZHHH6E Mick Jagger

    Loser establishment republicans.

  • overdoneputaforkinit

    How mind-blowing cheap this is an investment in future wars for Big Defense Contractors! Why didn’t they think of it before? Save $42 billion AND it results in hundreds of billions spent on future military conflict that may not have happened without the cut! A big day for defense stock prices.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=530821179 Risa Bear

    Finally a little consistency.

  • Anonymous

    Good for them. This outfit has been a watering hole for DC has-beens for over twenty years. A waste of taxpayer money. If you like them, please send your OWN money to USIP, DC. It is a trough-dweller’s paradise, but what you do with YOUR OWN money is your business. Not a dime of mine, thank you!

  • Anonymous

    They should have changed the word PEACE by any on this words: Defense, Home Land, Support Our troops. War on Terror, Patriot Act for better results.

    Those who don’t learn from the Past…


    “I eradicated the Marxist Party but my friends,I also eradicated all other parties’

    I smell General Betrayus..Coming soon to teathers

  • Guest

    “Generals gathered in their masses
    Just like witches at black masses
    Evil minds that plot destruction
    Sorcerers of death’s construction
    In the fields the bodies burning
    As the war machine keeps turning
    Death and hatred to mankind
    Poisoning their brainwashed minds
    Oh lord yeah!”

  • Anonymous

    “(USIP), an independent government-funded institution to analyze and prevent international conflict.” Sounds like something that would promote defense and security. It’s constitutional. Conservatives “cut off their noses to spite their faces”. Humanity made great strides using reason. Conservative cultism is returning us to barbarism.

  • RottenJohnny

    But those same friggin morons will spend trillions on the institute of war: the pentagon and it’s military/industrial complex.

  • Anonymous

    It’s such a shame. It’s been every bit as effective as the Department of Energy has been on getting us off of foreign energy dependency.

  • Taleisin

    Well, you must admit, this Institute isn’t very successful.

  • enorceht

    i love ozzy …

    maybe “madison” doesn’t flow very well but the meaning is still there

    We can change the world
    Re-arrange the world
    It’s dying … if you believe in justice
    It’s dying … and if you believe in freedom
    It’s dying … let a man live his own life
    It’s dying … rules and regulations, who needs them
    Throw them out the door
    Somehow people must be free
    I hope the day comes soon
    Won’t you please come to Madison [Chicago]
    Show your face

    ~Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young

  • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/5OQFBZ26C3VQ5ONGZGDBDY4BUU Mark A

    There’s an Institute of Peace?

    How many people had heard of this before now?

  • http://harry-canary.myopenid.com/ Harry Canary

    That is ok just so I can opt out of the things I do not like. Starting with bailouts for banksters, the CIA, subsidies for wealthy tobacco brokers (which your anti government virginia economy thrives on). Then about 2/3 of the military budget. Subsidies for big oil (or any other corporation for that matter) Subsidies for trucking, make them pay their full share of the damage they do to the highways. Subsidies for shipping, if shipping were not subsidized imports would probably not be economically feasible.

    Sounds like a completely different system than the one we have used for 200 plus years. I believe that those opt in opt out things were settled as impractical under the Articles of Confederation (which did not work) then rehashed out during southern good ol boy tantrums about nullification under Andrew Jackson and the Great Southern Tantrum of 1861 through 1865. With democracy or in a republic these things are voted on and everybody goes along. You do not get to pick and choose.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_QMPOO3PZFN7XV2XZKCGSXXR3WM Joe Somebody

    Two Democrats initiated the cut (with 1 Repuke).

    What confuses me is, Weiner co-sponsored it.. he’s usually fairly progressive-ish (if it’s the same pro-pot guy I think he is).. Seems odd that he’s at odds with Kucinich on this.

    Although, it was created in 1984 under Ronny.. And wasn’t the Iraq Study Group also the group Cheney used to help justify entering Iraq? .. I’d have to do some googling, but I get the feeling this “peace department” is Orwellian language.

    not to mention, all you have to do is look at all the conflicts around the world, all the little dictators we prop up, and you could start to wonder if this agency was actually effective at anything. It didn’t prevent us from getting into Iraq, that’s for sure.

    I’m conflicted about if this was a good idea or not; I just don’t know enough about possible meddling it’s been doing or what good has come from it.

  • Anonymous

    well, it’s not like we were really using it, anyway.

  • Anonymous

    You make an excellent point about the Iraq study group. The Neocons are master abusers. There MO is twisting and ignoring rules.

  • Anonymous

    why should they spend money for something which is antithetical to their program of endless wars, tortur and armageddon?

  • Anonymous

    there was precisely zero ‘peace dividend.’ when the soviet fell there were rush urgent meetings by and between pentagon, state, CIA, NSA as the US economy and structure will not allow for there to be no enemy and the new ‘enemy’ had to be chosen FAST! (documents gore vidal got via FOIA showed these meetings.)

    so the endless cold war was replaced by the equally endless ‘war of terror.’ and after having created and backed saddam hussein from 1965-1989… he was overnight transformed into teh poster boy for that war… and including the gulfwar, embargo backed by clinton, iraq war, civil war… 2 million iraqis died under our projet to ‘liberate’ them from our thug hussein…

    clinton, just another corporatist warmonger… the child-genocide of the iraq embargo; war crimes in the balkans, east timor, peru, chile, guatemala continued bush-reagan policies… presided over the vicious haitian dictator bush installed after deposing the democracy of aristide…

  • Anonymous

    Well, the Institute of Peace doesn’t seem to bringing much peace about now, does it?

    The US is a war-mongering nation and isn’t the least bit interested in peace – and by US I mean the guv’ment, the MIC, and Wall Street – we the people don’t have much say in the matter, but it sure is profitable for TPTB.

  • Anonymous

    When President Clinton left office, the federal budget was showing a $127-billion surplus. Bush turned that into a record deficit: $455 billion. (Source LATimes)
    Also see: http://www.factcheck.org/askfactcheck/during_the_clinton_administration_was_the_federal.html

    The war crimes have only benefited the criminals. Double/triple/quadruple… whammy: The people are paying for the actual war(s) still – and the criminals are profiting from the war(s) still – the economy was raped by the criminals (now voted back into power) and they now want to reduce pay for people who actually work in real jobs, etc., etc…

    The revolution should have taken place in 2000 when the freaks were handed a surplus on a silver platter.

    Damage already done over many years… Over ten years later we want a revolution? Hummmmm…

  • Anonymous

    We’d save a hell of a lot more money if the House would just vote to cut all funding for the U.S. Institute of War.

  • Johnny Warbucks

    Yep. It’s open war on anything that’s good, decent, honest. The crooks have the floor.

  • Johnny Warbucks

    Well, the Democrats had the show for 4 years, I didn’t see them do anything except more of the same. As for the one in charge at the White House. Some Nobel Piss Prize winner he is.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_PSRJLHUJ7V5YRVT3T5RN5LIHWM eric

    I bet they won’t defund the School of the Americas:

  • Anonymous

    And the democrats refunded the institute of pissing away other peoples money. The also funded the institute for tax- you till you puke then send the money over seas for abortions

  • realnewz

    Not surprising and like others have mentioned this Institute has done nothing for peace.
    The only time I ever heard of the USIP was last year when a former board member said
    that the crowning of Miss USA to a Lebanese American is an ‘odd form of Affirmative Action’.
    Thats when I knew the USIP is a farce.
    Seriously, what have they done for peace?

  • Anonymous

    The USA spends a billion for War but $42 Million for Peace is to much!

    And America is a Peaceful Nation, obviously Not!

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_MSVG73USMG342DWORQKIEJ6HVQ Bob

    This makes perfect sense. We are a colonial empire. Peace interferes with our ability to make war. Why are we funding it?