Great, thank you. Thank you, Chairman Engel. Thank you, Ranking Member McCaul. I will be brief this morning.
Thanks for the opportunity to discuss the administration’s FY 2020 budget.
It’s designed around the National Security Strategy to achieve our foreign policy goals. The request for $40 billion for State Department and USAID puts us in position to do just that.
These monies will protect our citizens at home and abroad, advance American prosperity and values, and support our allies and partners overseas.
We make this request mindful of the burden on American taxpayers and take seriously our obligation to deliver exceptional results on their behalf.
This budget will achieve our key diplomatic goals. Let me walk through many of them.
First, we’ll make sure that China and Russia cannot gain a strategic advantage and age – in an age of renewed great power competition.
We’ll continue our progress toward the final, fully verified denuclearization of North Korea.
And we’ll support the people of Venezuela as they work toward a peaceful restoration of their democracy so they can achieve prosperity in their once-rich nation.
And we’ll continue to confront the threat posed by the Islamic Republic of Iran and its malign behavior.
And we will work to help our allies and partners around the world become more secure and economically self-reliant as well.
And I take it as a personal mission to make sure that our world-class diplomatic personnel have the resources they need to execute America’s diplomacy in the 21st century.
Mr. Chairman, I know that you, too, care deeply about the welfare of our dedicated professionals. I’ve seen it. They get up every day and carry out the department’s vital national security and foreign policy missions.
And like you, my foremost priority is to ensure we have the resources to recruit, hire, develop, retain, and empower them to remain the world’s finest diplomatic team.
We especially need the extremely qualified individuals we nominated to serve in important management positions across the department, many of whom have been awaiting Senate confirmation since last year.
I also appreciate this committee’s focus on ensuring that the 75,000 men and women of the department’s workforce are treated respectfully and justly.
I have great respect for the committee’s oversight role to ensure and to – and I work to ensure that those commitments are carried out. When I served in this chamber, I pressed administration officials hard about the importance of Executive Branch responsiveness to requests from Congress, and my team will continue to work with yours to fulfill your requests for briefings, meetings, information from the department, and work constructively to identify how we can appropriately respond to the committee’s oversight and investigative requests.
I look forward to continuing to work with you on all of these key foreign policy priorities, and many more.
And I will now end my remarks so that we’ll have fulsome time for a good conversation. Thank you.