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.