Kerry’s March Madness: Four Hearings, No Time-Outs

March 11, 2014 By Emily Morgenstern

As we spring ahead for the most beloved college basketball tournament of the year, Secretary of State John Kerry will endure his own matchups on Capitol Hill. This week, Secretary Kerry will sit before four committees to present and defend the Obama Administration’s International Affairs Budget and policy priorities for Fiscal Year 2015 (FY15).

Secretary Kerry is one of the most respected voices on foreign policy and national security, having served on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee for many years, the last four as chairman. His work on the International Affairs Budget ensures that in the upcoming hearings, he will articulate a strong vision for America’s engagement in the world and the importance of a smart power foreign policy approach.

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Specifically, with crises in Central Africa Republic, Syria, South Sudan, and Ukraine placing growing pressure on limited resources, Secretary Kerry is expected to make a strong case for the funding outlined in the President’s recent budget request and reinforce the need for robust funding in the International Affairs Budget.

[blockquote attribution=”John Kerry|Secretary of State” align=”left”]”We know that America is exceptional not because we say we are, not because it’s a birthright that will happen automatically, but because America does exceptional things and we must continue to do those things. The world depends on us.” [/blockquote]

He will likely stress that the budget request puts forward strong funding for base programs and an expanded Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO) account, both of which will hopefully allow the U.S. to address the challenges in a rapidly changing environment.

Additionally, much like last year, Secretary Kerry will likely highlight how these programs benefit Americans from an economic point of view.

He will also outline the benefit of international development in strengthening the U.S. economy and protecting national security. As he said last year, “let me be clear: development is not charity. It’s an investment in a strong America and a free world.”

For more information on the Administration’s FY15 Budget Request, read our detailed analysis.