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

Obama: I Will Do 'Everything I Can' to Close Guantanamo

US president says prison continues 'to inspire jihadists and extremists around the world' More

Sierra Leone Educates on Safe Ebola Burials

Also, country is improving at rapid response to isolated outbreaks, but health workers need to be even faster, officials say More

Religion Aside, Christmas Gains Popularity in Communist Vietnam

Increasingly wealthy Vietnamese embrace holiday due to its non-religious glamor, commercial appeal 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.
US Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubansi
X
Sharon Behn
December 19, 2014 9:34 PM
For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
Video

Video US Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubans

For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
Video

Video Three Cities Bid for Future Obama Presidential Library

President Barack Obama still has two years left in his term in office, but the effort to establish his post-presidential library is already underway. The bid for the Obama Presidential Library is down to four locations in three states -- New York, Hawaii, and Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, each of them played an important part in the president’s life before he reached the White House.
Video

Video Cuba Deal is Major Victory for Pope’s Diplomatic Initiatives

Pope Francis played a key role in brokering the US-Cuba deal that was made public earlier this week. It is the most stunning success so far in a series of peacemaking efforts by the pontiff. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video Fears of More Political Gridlock in 2015

2014 proved to be a difficult year politically for President Barack Obama and a very good year for the U.S. Republican Party. Republican gains in the November midterm elections gave them control of the Senate and House of Representatives for the next two years -- setting the stage for more confrontation and gridlock in the final two years of the Obama presidency. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone has a preview from Washington.
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.

All About America

AppleAndroid