Secretary Tillerson Speaks Before U.S. House Foreign Affairs and Appropriations Committees on FY 2018 Budget Request

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Secretary Tillerson Speaks Before U.S. House Foreign Affairs and Appropriations Committees on FY 2018 Budget Request

On June 14, U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson testified on the Fiscal Year 2018 budget request for the State Department and USAID before the House Foreign Affairs Committee and before the House Appropriations Committee on Foreign Operations. This budget request reflects a commitment to ensure every tax dollar spent is aligned with the Department’s and USAID’s missions and critical objectives.

In his opening statement before the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Secretary Tillerson said, “America’s global competitive advantages and standing as a leader are under constant challenge. The dedicated men and women of the State Department and USAID carry out the important and often perilous work of advancing America’s interest every single day. That mission is unchanged.”

The Secretary continued, “The 21st century has already presented many new evolving challenges to U.S. national security and economic prosperity.  We must develop proactive responses to protect and advance the interests of the American people. With such a broad array of threats facing the United States, the Fiscal Year 2018 budget request of $37.6 billion aligns with the administration’s objective of making America’s security our top priority.”

Secretary Tillerson then underscored, “The first responsibility of government is the security of its own citizens, and we will orient our diplomatic efforts toward fulfilling that commitment.  While our mission will also be focused on advancing the economic interests of the American people, the State Department’s primary focus will be to protect our citizens at home and abroad.  Our mission is at all times guided by our longstanding values of freedom, democracy, individual liberty, and human dignity.”  

As the Secretary concluded his opening statement before the House Foreign Affairs Committee, he said, “Throughout my career I have never believed, nor have I never – ever experienced that the level of funding devoted to a goal is the most important factor in achieving it.  Our budget will never determine our ability to be effective; our people will. My colleagues at the State Department and USAID are a deep source of inspiration, and their patriotism, professionalism, and willingness to make sacrifices for our country are our greatest resource.”  

Following his testimony before the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Secretary Tillerson appeared before the House Appropriations Committee on Foreign Operations, where he reaffirmed his confidence that “the U.S. State Department and USAID will continue to deliver results for the American people.”  

Editor's Note: This entry is also published on Medium.com/StateDept.

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