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 true when it comes to our domestic economic renewal."
He emphasized that the United States needs to be "more visible, engaged, and strong in certain places...to stoke our economic engines with the trade and business opportunities that are available all across this planet." He explained that is why the Obama Administration is committed to completing the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership and the Trans-Pacific Partnership.
Secretary Kerry concluded his remarks by outlining how the proposed budget would support the work of the men and women of the State Department. Acknowledging that the State Department operates in a dangerous world, Secretary Kerry said, "We stand for optimism. We stand for opportunity. And we stand for equality. And we stand in opposition to all those who would replace hope with hate, who replace peace with violence and war. That's what we believe."
To read or watch Secretary of State John Kerry's opening remarks to Congress, please visit www.state.gov.