I’ve been criss-crossing the hill this week, meeting with the offices of Representatives and Senators about the State Foreign Operations account, the tiny fraction of the federal budget that covers international development efforts. The weather in DC has been amazing – bright, sunny and clear – and as I walk from one meeting to the next, between the stately House and Senate buildings and the marble Supreme Court, I am repeatedly struck by how magnificent this city truly is – at least on the outside.

But inside these buildings, things aren’t as pleasant for international development — at least, not for now.  Last week, the House Appropriations Subcommittee on State Foreign Operations approved the FY 2013 bill that slashes international development and foreign aid funding. Specifically, this means reductions in the United States Agency for International Development’s (USAID) and the State Department’s operating budgets, completely defunding the President’s Middle East and North Africa Incentive Fund (a vital piece to tackling the unrest in the Arab world), and taking away resources for multilateral assistance and international organizations.

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I’ll spend as many beautiful afternoons indoors as it takes to get the message to Congress that development keeps us safe and they need to fund it, not cut it. Please check out my message above and tell your friends on Facebook about this important fight.