Hagerty Urges USAID Administrator to Prioritize Poverty Alleviation Over Woke Climate Agenda in Developing Nations

April 19, 2023

Calls out Biden’s USAID for using taxpayer dollars to address ‘eco-anxiety’ in countries struggling to meet basic economic needs

WASHINGTON—United States Senator Bill Hagerty (R-TN), a member of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs, today pressed United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Administrator Samantha Power on USAID’s use of taxpayer dollars to fund its woke climate agenda rather than to alleviate poverty and address basic needs in developing nations that are suffering in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I think we really need to talk about getting back to basics,” Hagerty said. “I’ve traveled and visited with leaders in developing countries. They’re struggling significantly right now to overcome the impact of the COVID-19 shutdowns. Their economies are struggling… And as I ask myself, ‘What are we doing to alleviate global poverty, particularly in these situations, what are we doing to put these countries on a pathway to some sort of sustainable economic growth?’ I see a real disconnect between what I feel like these countries need and what we’re doing, and what I’d like to refer to is this ‘climate strategy program’ that has been put out by USAID. It seems to be matters that are focused on issues that are not the priorities of these countries.”

“I think about the best and highest use of our taxpayer dollars to help these countries where they are today, and I find myself really scratching my head about what this document calls for,” Hagerty continued. “We specifically have included in this document using U.S. taxpayers to address—I’m going to use a few quotes here—‘the growing importance of young people suffering from eco-anxiety.’ And I just wonder if you support using U.S. taxpayer funds to alleviate climate anxiety among foreign children activists?” Hagerty asked.

Administrator Power defended the use of taxpayer funds to achieve climate initiatives abroad, claiming that “working with communities who are suffering life and death consequences of climate change, it matters to us in the same way that life and death food insecurity matters to us.”

“I just don’t get the connection between the basic fundamental platform. The bottom part of ‘Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs’ is trying to be addressed here,” Senator Hagerty said, referring to a behavioral theory that human beings’ basic needs like food, clothing, and financial security must be met before more abstract psychological ideas or aspirations become a concern.  “That’s what we should be focused on. How could the best allocation of taxpayer funds be on providing programs like this? And when we have a void, China steps in to fill that void. We need to be in the game. We need to be looking at the basic needs,” Hagerty concluded.

*click the photo above or here to watch*