January 13, 2009

Sen. Clinton Urges Increased Funding for International Affairs Budget at Confirmation Hearing

On January 13, in an impressive appearance before the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, Secretary of State-designate Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton reinforced the President-elect’s commitment to increase funding for the International Affairs Budget and to use the full range of our nation’s “smart power” tools – diplomacy, development and defense – to address the global challenges of the 21st century. Sen. Clinton stated, “One of my first priorities is to make sure that the State Department and USAID have the resources they need, and I will be back to make the case to Congress for full funding of the President’s budget request.”

She further stated, “President-elect Obama has emphasized that the State Department must be fully empowered and funded to confront multi-dimensional challenges – from working with allies to thwart terrorism, to spreading health and prosperity in places of human suffering.” In a wide ranging question and answer session with Committee Members, Sen. Clinton stressed the importance of achieving a greater equilibrium in funding between defense, development and diplomacy; increasing funding for America’s “smart power” tools; aggressively moving forward to rebuild the State Department’s and USAID’s civilian capacity and training, as well as working with Defense Secretary Robert Gates to eventually transfer DOD’s nation building and humanitarian programs to the State Department and USAID.