"We spend one penny of the U.S. taxpayer dollar on everything that we do… in the State Department and USAID." -Secretary Kerry today on the Department of State budget

"We spend one penny of the U.S. taxpayer dollar on everything that we do… in the State Department and USAID." -Secretary Kerry today on the Department of State budget

The Challenges of Meeting America’s Objectives Around the Globe

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In over 180 countries, the State Department and USAID provide the people and programs necessary to promote peace and ensure America’s leadership in the world using just 1% of the entire federal budgetThat is why the recently proposed 20% cut to the State Department and USAID budgets is so distressing.

Here are just a few examples of the impact of the proposed cuts:

  • A roughly 40% cut to our request for economic and development assistance, dramatically reducing our efforts in countries like Afghanistan, Pakistan, Mexico, Colombia, South Sudan, Somalia, and Burma.
  • Diplomatic and Consular overseas programs would be cut by nearly 40% from their current levels and nearly 50% from the President’s request.

Read more about the effects of these proposed budget cuts on DipNote.

Secretary Kerry Testifies on the FY 2014 Foreign Affairs Budget

Secretary of State John Kerry testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, April 17, 2013, before the House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing on the State Department's fiscal 2014 foreign affairs budget. [AP Photo]

On April 17, Secretary of State John Kerry testified before the House Foreign Affairs Committee and the House Appropriations Committee regarding the Foreign Affairs budget for 2014. In his opening remarks, Secretary Kerry reaffirmed that “America’s investment in foreign policy is ‘national security insurance.’ And there really isn’t anything foreign about foreign policy anymore.” He made clear that “all of this speaks to why this budget is not just a collection of numbers; it’s an illustration of our values and our priorities.”

Secretary Kerry provided examples of the high-impact, low-cost work that the State Department conducts to make the world safer, from countering terrorism to feeding the hungry. The Secretary also underscored, “The simple fact is the United States cannot be strong at home if we are not strong in the world, in today’s world. This is particularly…more »

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry testifies on the FY 2014 Foreign Affairs Budget before the House Foreign Affairs Committee in Washington, D.C. on April 17, 2013. A text transcript can be found at http://www.state.gov/secretary/remarks/2013/04/207641.htm

U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Thomas Nides and U.S. Agency for International Development Administrator Rajiv Shah brief the press on the FY 2013 international affairs budget request, at the Department of State in Washington, D.C., February 13, 2012.

President’s Budget Request Reflects Strong Commitment on Global AIDS

PEPFAR-funded AIDS care unit, White River Junction, South Africa, Dec. 15, 2008. [AP File Photo]

About the Author: Ambassador Eric Goosby serves as the United States Global AIDS Coordinator.

On February 13, the Obama Administration issued the President’s budget request for fiscal year (FY) 2013. It demonstrates that the United States remains fully committed to the fight against global AIDS, and will meet the President’s ambitious targets for HIV/AIDS treatment and prevention announced on World AIDS Day 2011. I am so proud that, even in a challenging budget environment with strict budget caps, the Administration has continued to make this work a priority.

This budget will enable PEPFAR to achieve the President’s stated goals for the program, including on prevention and supporting 6 million people on treatment by the end of 2013. As we move towards creating an AIDS-free generation,… more »

Foreign Service Worth Its Expense

Harry S. Truman Building, State Department headquarters, Washington, DC, Mar. 9, 2009. [AP File]

About the Author: Terrence Williamson is a senior Foreign Service officer. He recently served at the U.S. Embassy in Berlin and is now the Diplomat in Residenceat Morehouse and Spelman Colleges.

In more than 25 years as a U.S. diplomat, I spent about half of my career serving abroad from Japan to Panama and Germany to Cote d’Ivoire, and I have been fortunate to witness the great things our country can do around the world.

Our diplomats work to enhance our national and economic security interests by promoting political stability and economic prosperity abroad. We do this at a cost of slightly more than one percent of the entire federal budget — in fact, my colleagues in the Foreign Service and I barely could staff one aircraft carrier.

I know that we face a difficult budgetary climate, but American taxpayers get an excellent rate of return on their investment in diplomacy. Let me reflect on my career to show how drastically reducing State’s budget is short-sighted.

In the 1990s, I served in Cote d’Ivoire when its neighbor, Liberia,… more »

Deputy Secretary of State Tom Nides delivers keynote remarks at a forum on “A Unified Security Budget for the United States” at the Center for American Progress on August 31, 2011.

Ten Things You Should Know About the State Department and USAID
Harry S. Truman Building, State Department headquarters, Washington, DC, Mar. 9, 2009. [AP File]

About the Author: Thomas R. Nides serves as Deputy Secretary of State for Management and Resources.

Do you ever wonder what the State Department and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) do every day and what it means for you?

In the eight months since I joined the State Department, I’ve learned firsthand about the important and wide ranging work done by the women and men who work here and around the world to enhance our national and economic security. We help train the Mexican National Police forces who battle violent drug gangs just south of our border, and we serve alongside our military in Iraq and Afghanistan. We negotiate trade agreements and promote U.S. exports by reducing barriers to commerce.

Former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates used to say that the Department… more »

U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Johnnie Carson testifies before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on the fiscal year 2012 budget for Africa, on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., on April 14, 2011. [Go to http://www.state.gov/video for more video and text transcript.]