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Anna Paulina Luna co-sponsors bill to abolish USAID, which funds human rights in Latin America

A handful of MAGA Republicans pushed the bill even though The Heritage Foundation reports that under President Donald Trump, the agency was highly effective

Rep. Anna Paulina Luna
Rep. Anna Paulina Luna | U.S. House of Representatives

August 2, 2023 10:29am

Updated: August 2, 2023 10:29am

Latina Republican Anna Paulina Luna co-sponsored legislation Tuesday to abolish the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), a federal organization dedicated to fostering humanitarian work and promoting human rights in Latin America and other global regions.  

The organization was founded in 1961 and serves as the primary federal agency to administer civilian development assistance and foreign aid.

"USAID does not serve a meaningful purpose," he said. "It is used as a slush fund for international 'wokeism.' Therefore, serious lawmakers in Congress should support its complete abolition."

The federal agency, which is headquartered in Washington, works to reduce poverty worldwide. The bill was spearheaded by Rep. Matt Gaetz, who boasted on Aug. 1, “I have found a way to cut spending.”

Some Republicans have become frustrated with some of the programs at the agency however, after they determined some programs were promoting abortion, climate change and gender equity programs.  

A May 10, 2022 report published by The Heritage Foundation accuses the agency under the leadership of the Biden administration of “dispens[ing] aggressively with bipartisan comity, treating the U.S. foreign aid apparatus as a global platform from which to implement overseas a rigidly ideological and domestically divisive agenda to promote abortion, climate action, gender equity and racial justice.”

However, the report also concedes that under President Donald Trump the agency was highly effective.

“Under the administration of President Donald Trump, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) pursued an agenda based on traditional American values that avoided injecting divisive socio-political issues into its humanitarian, global health, and development responses,” the report concedes.

“In doing so, it maintained traditional bipartisan support for foreign aid. The Administration also pursued a taxpayer-focused restructuring of the agency that improved the efficiency of its programs and management and centered it on a philosophy that made “ending the need for aid” its modus operandi, a vision that drew strong support across party lines.”

Despite its recognized success under the Trump administration, a small group of MAGA representatives have called for the agency’s total abolition.

Co-sponsors on this legislation include GOP Reps. Anna Paulina Luna of Florida, Andy Biggs of Arizona, and Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia.

“American taxpayer dollars are being wasted to fund radical leftist propaganda in foreign countries,” Gaetz also said. “The American people will not tolerate government-funded degeneracy at home, and we certainly will not accept its force-feeding abroad under Old Glory.”

The bill would defund the agency, with all assets or liabilities turned over to the U.S. Dept. of State.