FY2011 International Affairs Budget Makes Progress

Three weeks ago, Global Washington posted a blog summarizing the Fiscal Year 2011 International Affairs Budget request. Today, we are pleased to report that the budget is moving forward as Secretary of State Hillary Clinton testified before four Congressional Committees in the House of Representatives and the Senate.

In her testimony, Secretary Clinton highlighted the main priorities in this year’s budget, as we reported previously: increasing civilian capacity in the “frontline states,” and renewed investments in health, food security, and climate change. In focusing on these priorities, Secretary Clinton argued the aim of the United States “is not to create dependency, but to help our partners devise solutions they can sustain over the long term.”

Secretary Clinton also brought attention to three other aspects of the FY 2011 budget. First, “as the key drivers of economic and social progress in the developing world,” women and girls will be a focal point in American foreign policy in an effort to extend equality and opportunity to all.

An expansion of the Foreign Service of the State Department and USAID will also be a central goal of this budget. In an effort to curb the United States’ reliance on contractors in the implementation of foreign policy goals, the budget will increase the State Department’s Foreign Service by 410 and USAID’s by 200.

The FY 2011 International Affairs Budget would also seek to focus on results and efficiency in implementing United States foreign policy and national security goals. The Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development review, which should be completed at the end of this summer, gives the United States the “opportunity to define the capabilities we need and to match resources with priorities.” In line with the goals of the QDDR, Secretary Clinton went on to say “this budget aligns our investments with the strategic imperatives of our time.”

The International Affairs Budget was also received well by congressional leaders during the four hearings. Senator John Kerry, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee hailed the budget as “the backbone of our civilian efforts worldwide,” believing it “secures the tools we need for an effective foreign policy.” Congressman Howard Berman, chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee committed himself and, with hopes, the rest of his committee to “do everything we can to maintain the overall funding level” of the International Affairs Budget.

To read Secretary Clinton’s transcripts, as well as the transcripts of the Members of Congress and video of the hearings, please refer to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, House Foreign Affairs Committee, Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on State, Foreign Operations, and the House Appropriations Subcommittee on  State, Foreign Operations. For more information on the Fiscal Year 2011 International Affairs Budget, please visit USGLC’s budget center and Global Washington’s blog.