On March 1, 2011, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton testified before the Committee on Foreign Affairs of the U.S. House of Representatives. The Secretary gave an update of her recent trip to Geneva, then she discussed the FY 2012 budget.
Secretary Clinton said, "The American people are justifiably concerned about our national debt. I share that concern. But they also want responsible investments in our future that will make us stronger at home and continuing our leadership abroad. Just two years after President Obama and I first asked you to renew our investment in development and diplomacy, we are already seeing tangible returns for our national security."
She continued, "In Iraq, almost 100,000 troops have come home, and civilians are poised to keep the peace. In Afghanistan, integrated military and civilian surges have helped set the stage for our diplomatic surge to support Afghan-led reconciliation that can end the conflict and put al-Qaida on the run. We have imposed the toughest ever sanctions to rein in Iran's nuclear ambitions. We have reengaged as a leader in the Pacific and in our own hemisphere. We have signed trade deals to promote American jobs and nuclear weapons treaties to protect our people. We have worked with Northern and Southern Sudanese to achieve a peaceful referendum and prevent a return to civil war. We are working to open up political systems, economies, and societies at a remarkable moment in the history of the Middle East, and to support peaceful, orderly, irreversible democratic transitions in Egypt and Tunisia.
"Our progress is significant, but our work is far from over. These missions are vital to our national security, and I believe with all my heart now would be the wrong time to pull back.
"The FY 2012 budget we discuss today will allow us to keep pressing ahead. It is a lean budget for lean times. I did launch the first-ever Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review to help us maximize the impact of every dollar we spend. We scrubbed this budget and made painful but responsible cuts. We cut economic assistance to Central and Eastern Europe, the Caucasus, and Central Asia by 15 percent. We cut development assistance to over 20 countries by more than half.
"And this year, for the first time, our request is divided into two parts. Our core budget request of $47 billion supports programs and partnerships in every country but North Korea. It is essentially flat from 2010 levels. The second part of our request funds the extraordinary, temporary portion of our war effort the same way that the Pentagon's request is funded: in a separate Overseas Contingency Operations account known as OCO. Instead of covering our war expenses through supplemental appropriations, we are now taking a more transparent approach that reflects our fully integrated civilian-military efforts on the ground. Our share of the President's $126 billion request for these exceptional wartime costs in the frontline states is 8.7 billion."
You can read the Secretary's complete remarks here.