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Letter to Chairman Harold Rogers, Committee on Appropriations of the House of Representatives

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Washington, DC
February 14, 2011

Dear Mr. Chairman:

I am writing regarding the House Appropriations Committee’s proposed spending levels for State and foreign operations in fiscal year 2011. Our estimate of the Committee’s allocation for the State Department and USAID amounts to a 16 percent reduction from our actual FY 2010 funding, and a 19 percent cut to our 2011 request. The bill further proposes to cut out humanitarian assistance accounts by 41 percent from 2010 levels.

Cuts of this magnitude will be devastating to our national security, will render us unable to respond to unanticipated disasters, and will damage our leadership around the world. In Iraq, the Committees’ proposed cuts occur at exactly the most sensitive juncture as we transition from military-lead to civilian-run programs and operations. In Afghanistan, our diplomats and development experts are working in lock-step with our service-members, and are essential to our overall success. Across the Middle East, the Committee’s proposed cuts would force us to scale back our efforts at this particularly crucial time. Moreover, the sweeping cuts proposed by the Committee would significantly impair our border security programs; our food, global health, and climate change initiatives; and our economic development and trade promotion activities which help expand markets and create jobs here in the United States.

I would appreciate the chance to work with you and other members of the Committee to ensure State and USAID are funded adequately to protect and advance U.S. interests around the world. The Administration is committed to working with Congress to reduce the deficit in a balanced manner that does not impede our economic growth or risk our national security. However, the cuts you have proposed are far too deep to meet our critical national security requirements.

I appreciate your consideration of this information, and I look forward to our work together.

Sincerely yours,

Hillary Rodham Clinton

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