News / USA

Clinton Warns of 'Devastating' Foreign Affairs Budget Cuts

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton following her meeting with Speaker of the House John Boehner, on Capitol Hill in Washington, Monday, Feb. 14, 2011.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton following her meeting with Speaker of the House John Boehner, on Capitol Hill in Washington, Monday, Feb. 14, 2011.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Monday that foreign affairs budget cuts being proposed by Republican members of Congress would be "devastating" to U.S. national security interests.  Clinton made an unusual visit to Capitol Hill to discuss the issue with the new Speaker of the House of Representatives, John Boehner.  

State Department officials rolled out a budget plan for the 2012 fiscal year that would entail practically no growth in foreign affairs spending and would require ending or cutting U.S. aid to nearly 30  countries.

But they are more concerned about cuts being proposed by the new Republican majority in the House of Representatives for the current year that officials say would require a 16 percent reduction in the State Department budget and 41 percent cut in humanitarian aid.

In a letter to House Appropriations Committee Chairman Harold Rogers, Clinton said cuts of that magnitude would be "devastating" to U.S. national security, damage U.S. leadership in the world and render the United States unable to respond to disasters.

Republicans are proposing reductions virtually across the board in U.S. government agencies to fulfill campaign pledges for immediate budget cuts of up to $100 billion to reduce the nation's record federal budget deficit.

Meeting reporters after what she termed a "productive" meeting with Speaker Boehner, Clinton said the proposed 2011 reductions would cripple plans to increase civilian aid to Iraq as the U.S. military role there nears an end.

"In Iraq, as our troops leave, there will be a savings in direct military expenditures that will total about $45 billion," said Secretary Clinton. "We’re asking for about $4 billion to make sure we have a civilian presence to continue working with the Iraqi government in order that the enormous sacrifice that our men and women in uniform made, and that this country made, to try to give Iraqis the opportunity to chart their own democratic future is not lost."

In an apparent reference to Iran, Clinton, said the United States is not the only country that will be in a position to influence what happens in Iraq.

Speaker Boehner did not appear with Clinton and there was no indication whether the powerful House speaker would move to temper budget-cutting by his fellow Republicans.

At the State Department, meanwhile, officials unveiled a 2012 plan for U.S. foreign affairs and aid spending programs - less than one percent larger that the 2010  budget.

Deputy Secretary of State Thomas Nides, who oversees the budget, said the plan recognizes the need for austerity.

"We’ve scrubbed the entire budget for savings," said Nides. "We’ve eliminated foreign assistance programs for several countries.  We’ve reduced development assistance by over half in 20 others.  We have cut funding in Europe and Eurasia by 15 percent.  We’ve even managed to identify over $100 million in administrative savings through more efficient travel and procurement."

Nides stressed that the foreign affairs budget represents only one percent of the U.S. federal budget, despite a widespread misconception that the United States spends many times more than that on foreign aid alone.

You May Like

Turkey's Controversial Reform Bill Giving Investors Jitters

Homeland security reform bill will give police new powers in search, seizure, detention and arrests, while restricting the rights of suspects, their attorneys More

Audio Slideshow In Kenyan Prison, Good Grades Are Path to Freedom

Some inmates who get high marks could see their sentences commuted to non-custodial status More

Ali Regained Title in Historic Fight 40 Years Ago

'The Champ' knocked Foreman out to regain crown he had lost 7 years earlier when US government accused him of draft-dodging and boxing officials revoked his license More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Victorious Secularists Face Challenge to Form Government in Tunisiai
X
Henry Ridgwell
October 30, 2014 11:39 PM
Official results from Tunisia show the Islamist Ennahda party has failed to win the second free election since the so-called "Arab Spring" uprising in 2011. Ennahda, which handed power to a government of technocrats pending the elections, lost out to the secular party Nidaa Tounes. Henry Ridgwell reports from London that the relatively peaceful poll offers some hope in a volatile region.
Video

Video Victorious Secularists Face Challenge to Form Government in Tunisia

Official results from Tunisia show the Islamist Ennahda party has failed to win the second free election since the so-called "Arab Spring" uprising in 2011. Ennahda, which handed power to a government of technocrats pending the elections, lost out to the secular party Nidaa Tounes. Henry Ridgwell reports from London that the relatively peaceful poll offers some hope in a volatile region.
Video

Video Africa Tells its Story Through Fashion

In Africa, Fashion Week is a riot of colors, shapes, patterns and fabrics - against the backdrop of its ongoing struggle between nature and its fast-growing urban edge. How do these ideas translate into needle and thread? VOA’s Anita Powell visited this year’s Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Africa in Johannesburg to find out.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.

All About America

AppleAndroid