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

Multimedia Social Media Documenting, Not Driving, Hong Kong Protests

Unlike Arab Spring uprisings, pro-democracy protestors in Hong Kong aren't relying on Twitter and Facebook to organize, but social media still plays a role More

Analysis: Occupy Central Not Exactly Hong Kong’s Tiananmen

VOA's former Hong Kong, Beijing correspondent compares and contrasts 1989 Tiananmen Square protest with what is now happening in Hong Kong More

Bambari Hospital a Lone Place of Help in Violence-Plagued CAR

Only establishment still functioning in CAR's second city is main hospital 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.
The Legacy of Jimmy Carter: The Preacher from Plainsi
X
October 01, 2014 10:45 AM
It is common in the United States to see tourists flock to sites associated with America's presidents. Some are privately owned and others are run by the National Park Service or the National Archives -- but most have helped draw business and people into the towns and cities where they are located. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there is one particular presidential hometown that is unique in what it has to offer those who make the trip.
Video

Video The Legacy of Jimmy Carter: The Preacher from Plains

It is common in the United States to see tourists flock to sites associated with America's presidents. Some are privately owned and others are run by the National Park Service or the National Archives -- but most have helped draw business and people into the towns and cities where they are located. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there is one particular presidential hometown that is unique in what it has to offer those who make the trip.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests Draw New Supporters on National Holiday

On the 65th anniversary of the founding of Communist China, Hong Kong protesters are hoping to stage the largest pro-democracy demonstration since the 1989 Tiananmen protests. VOA's Brian Padden visited one of the protest sites mid-day, when the atmosphere was calm and where the supporters were enthusiastic about joining what they are calling the umbrella revolution.
Video

Video India's PM Continues First US Visit

India's prime minister is on his first visit to Washington, to strengthen political and economic ties between the world's oldest and the world biggest democracies. He came to the U.S. capital from New York, the first stop on his five-day visit to the country that denied him an entry visa in the past. From Washington, Zlatica Hoke reports Modi seemed most focused on attracting foreign investment and trade to increase job opportunities for his people.
Video

Video Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihad

Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Could US Have Done More to Stop Rise of Islamic State?

President Obama says airstrikes against Islamic State militants in Syria will likely continue for some time because, in his words, "there is a cancer that has grown for too long." So what if President Obama had acted sooner in Syria to arm more-moderate opponents of both the Islamic State and the Syrian government? VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports from the United Nations.
Video

Video Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenya

Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Ebola Patients Find No Treatment at Sierra Leone Holding Center

At a holding facility in Makeni, central Sierra Leone, dozens of sick people sit on the floor in an empty university building. They wait in filthy conditions. It's a 16-hour drive by ambulance to Kailahun Ebola treatment center. Adam Bailes was there and reports on what he says are some of the worst situations he has seen since the beginning of this Ebola outbreak. And he says it appears case numbers may already be far worse than authorities acknowledge.
Video

Video Identifying Bodies Found in Texas Border Region

Thousands of immigrants have died after crossing the border from Mexico into remote areas of the southwestern United States in recent years. Local officials in south Texas alone have found hundreds of unidentified bodies and buried them in mass graves in local cemeteries. Now an anthropologist and her students at Baylor University have been exhuming bodies and looking for clues to identify them. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Waco, Texas.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid