Secretary Clinton Testifies

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Today in her opening statement before the Senate Appropriations Sub-Committee on Foreign Operations, Secretary Clinton made clear once again the critical need for overseas development assistance for our economic and national security. She began her testimony by stating, “When I appeared before the Senate Appropriations Committee a few weeks ago with Secretary Gates, we both emphasized the need for a comprehensive approach to the challenges on our nation’s agenda…urgent development needs ranging from extreme poverty to pandemic disease that have a direct impact on our own security and prosperity.”

The Secretary also reiterated the administration’s commitment to meet our goal of doubling foreign assistance by 2015, and highlighting in this year’s budget: $525 million for maternal and child health, about $1 billion for education, $1.36 billion to address food insecurity, and $4.1 billion for humanitarian assistance. The Secretary stated, “these initiatives build good will, alleviate suffering, and save lives, but they also make our country safer and our partners stronger.”

Members of the Sub-Committee present at the hearing included Senators Patrick Leahy, Judd Gregg, Arlen Specter, Kit Bond, Barbara Mikulski, Robert Bennett, and Sam Brownback.

Senator Bond talked about the need for smart power, Senator Mikulski asked about better partnering NGOs with USAID, Senator Bennett emphasized the Millennium Challenge Corporation as a model for assistance, and microenterprise as a way of helping the poor, and Senator Brownback spoke on delivering better results with food aid and micronutrients.

-Arjun Mody

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