Clinton Testifies State/USAID Budget Request at House Appropriations Committee on Foreign Operations

Yesterday morning, Hillary Clinton testified to the House Appropriations Committee on Foreign Operations defending the FY 2012 State Department and USAID Budget Requests.  The Secretary of State’s statement mirrored her statement to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee from the previous week.  The main differences were an up-to-date description of the crisis in Libya, with Clinton discussing the U.S. stance against Gaddafi to use our allies and partners to sanction and pressure Gaddafi to stop using violence against his people.  Clinton also stated the State Department launched a Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review to maximize the effectiveness of every dollar in the State and USAID Budget.

Committee Chairman Rogers’s statement addressed budget increases over the past two years, such as the 33% increase for State-Foreign Operations Subcommittee appropriations and calls the State Department and USAID budget requests unsustainable during this economic time.

Subcommittee Chairwoman Kay Granger opening discussing the importance foreign assistance plays in supporting reform in the Middle East, working in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iraq to achieve our objectives and stopping drug trafficking throughout our own hemisphere.  Granger stated that increasing State/USAID staff, entering large multi-year commitments and lends by international banks must slow down.  Granger stated uncertainty about the State Departments ability to take over in Iraq and keep our diplomats and development staff safe, and that keeping troops on the ground is cheaper.  Granger goes on to address danger issues in Afghanistan with switching successfully to Afghan Security Force, without harming counterinsurgencies or development staff.

Click here for opening remarks by Committee Chair Rogers.
Click here for opening remarks by Subcommittee Chairwoman Kay Granger.

DOD and State Department Responses to FY 2012 Budget

“I am writing regarding the House Appropriations Committee’s proposed spending levels for State and foreign operations in fiscal year 2011. Our estimate of the Committee’s allocation for the State Department and USAID amounts to a 16 percent reduction from our actual FY 2010 funding, and a 19 percent cut to our 2011 request. The bill further proposes to cut out humanitarian assistance accounts by 41 percent from 2010 levels.”

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton
Letter to Chairman Harold Rogers, Committee on Appropriations of the House of Representatives

“The budget request for the Department of Defense today includes a base budget request of $553 billion and an Overseas Contingency Operations request of $117.8 billion.  These budget decisions took place in the context of a nearly two year effort by this Department to reduce overhead, cull troubled and excess programs, and rein in personnel and contractor costs – all for the purpose of preserving the global reach and fighting strength of America’s military at a time of fiscal stress for our country.”

Secretary of Defense Robert Gates
Opening Summary — House Armed Services Committee (Budget Request)

We welcome your comments on the 2012 Budget and DOD and State Department Budget Requests.

President Obama Releases the FY 2012 Budget

This afternoon, President Obama released the FY 2012 Budget.  Stay tuned to our blog as we keep you up-to-date on comments, press releases and Congressional hearings regarding the 2012 Budget. We welcome your comments regarding the budget, including defense funding and budget cuts.