Heather B. Stein: Holding’s priorities not in order

July 2, 2013 

No priorities for Holding

I agree wholeheartedly with U.S. Rep. George Holding’s statement that “fostering bilateral relationships with foreign nations is a crucial role of the president” (“Obama’s costly trip to Africa” July 2). I would argue it should also be a priority for the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, of which Holding is a member.

It is disturbing that Holding views reaching out to African nations at this time as a trip lacking in judgment; criticizing the President for the cost of this particular trip seems to be yet another partisan jab. Holding compares the cost of this trip to potential salaries for N.C. teachers or N.C. civilian employees furloughed due to defense cuts, yet Congress and the N.C. General Assembly have circumvented plenty of other opportunities to protect those salaries.

I would urge Holding to recognize and prioritize the critical importance of diplomacy and development when it comes to the roles of North Carolina and the United States in foreign affairs.

Heather B. Stein

Chapel Hill

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