I urge the Congress to approve an omnibus appropriation bill to fund the critical national security programs associated with the missions of the Department of State and the U.S. Agency for International Development.
The omnibus provides critical funding to achieve our key national security objectives in Afghanistan and Pakistan; provides sufficient funding for the transition in Iraq; funds vital development programs including global health, food security, and climate change; and gives us the necessary resources to respond to humanitarian emergencies. The full year Continuing Resolution proposed in the House would sharply cut our funding and severely weaken the Department and USAID’s ability to execute our critical civilian missions, particularly in Afghanistan and Iraq.
The entire budget request for State and USAID represents less than one percent of the Federal Budget, and the funding in the omnibus is billions of dollars below the request. We need these resources now more than ever to support national security priorities in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan where we are helping secure gains made by our military and preventing the spread of violent extremism. Our budget is being used to help stabilize the global economy, combat extreme poverty, demolish transnational criminal networks, stop global health pandemics, and address the threat of climate change. These are not partisan issues; they are national imperatives.
This budget represents more than financial allocations. It represents essential priorities, new approaches, and a renewed commitment to use the resources of the State Department and USAID smartly and strategically to get the best possible results for the American people.
I agree with Secretary Gates that the massive requirements associated with reprogrammings needed to manage the activities of our Departments worldwide under a year-long continuing resolution would seriously impede our efforts to meet unanticipated national security needs.