Posts Tagged ‘Appropriations’

Hillary knows what she has to do tomorrow and long has known what she wants to say in her testimony to the House Select Committee on Benghazi.  She has not been campaigning this week and probably is reviewing briefs and papers that the State Department has provided to the committee.

Most of us will be as glued to various-sized screens watching the proceedings as time and work permit.  In case you feel you need to brush up on any of the information related to the Select committee’s investigation, Correct the Record has put together a handy guide for your convenience.


You can access the pdf of the guide here >>>>


Just saying, it would have been nice if Appropriations had granted the State Department an unlimited budget for embassy security in 2011 and 2012 rather than cutting those budget figures, but that’s just me.

House Tea Party Members In Pursuit Of Hillary Clinton: Examine Your Own Role In Cutting Diplo Post Security

Clearly, a great deal of what the State Department could and could not do to increase security, if indeed headquarters was notified of such a need, rested not in the hands of the department itself, but rather in the hands of the same body that is now calling the secretary and her department to task,  the House of Representatives and specifically,  the Appropriations Committee.

Try as they might to somehow blame the Secretary of State for not adequately protecting her colleagues,  the Republican Tea Party House has blood on its hands and should be called to task  as well.  We should not forget their role in this going forward.

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Remember that the right sidebar here contains links to the complete unclassified Accountability Review Board report and the cover letter that accompanied to to Congress in late 2012 when a good number of the recommendations in that report had already been implemented.  This remains the seminal document covering the events of September 11, 2012.

In case you did not already know.

October 22, 2015

Hillary Clinton Testimony at House Select Committee on Benghazi

Hillary Clinton testifies before the House Select Committee on Benghazi, which is investigating the events surrounding the 2012 terrorist attack on the U.S. consulate there, in which Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three others died.

This program has not yet aired

The campaign has provided this brief, which is nice and succinct. if you have time to read nothing else, read this.

The Benghazi Committee, explained.

Hillary is on Capitol Hill today, testifying in front of the House Select Benghazi Committee. Here’s what it’s all about.

What happened in Benghazi

On September 11, 2012, a group of Islamic militia members attacked a U.S. diplomatic outpost in Benghazi, Libya. Four Americans were killed in the terrorist attack: U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens, Sean Smith, Glenn Doherty, and Tyrone Woods.

For Hillary, who was serving as secretary of state at the time, the tragedy is personal. She was the one who had asked the late Chris Stevens to serve as ambassador to Libya. She was with President Obama at Andrews Air Force Base when Marines brought home the caskets of the four Americans. Anyone who knows Hillary knows she isn’t the kind of person to stand around wringing her hands after a tragedy—she leapt into action immediately to prevent anything like this from ever happening again.

The Benghazi Committee is the eighth—yes, eighth—congressional review of the tragedy.

The events in Benghazi have been scrutinized by countless panels, news organizations, and government agencies. After the attack, Hillary set up a nonpartisan panel known as the Accountability Review board (ARB) to investigate. The panel made dozens of recommendations for improvement. By the time Hillary left office, every single reform was on its way to being implemented.

After the ARB, seven congressional panels have also completed investigations. Five were led by Republicans. None found any wrongdoing. But even with these conclusive findings, House Republicans approved an unlimited budget—yup, we’re talking about your taxpayer dollars—for an eighth congressional review. Enter the House Select Benghazi Committee.

The House Select Benghazi Committee has one goal.

Now, if you’re wondering why Republicans are still at it even after the thorough reviews—or if you’re thinking that sounds a little fishy—you’re onto something. Over the past few weeks, a number of key Republicans—from House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy to New York’s Rep. Richard Hanna—have copped to the truth about why this committee was established in the first place: to “go after” Hillary Clinton and to hurt her presidential candidacy. A whistleblower has even come forward to say that he was fired because he  objected to how partisan the inquiry was.

Trey Gowdy, the chair of the committee, has predicted the probe will continue well into 2016. Their aim is clear: hurt Hillary’s chances of winning the presidential election. And for those of you who are curious, no, the committee has not been able to produce any new facts about the attack.

What you’ll hear today

“No one wants to find out what happened more than I do.”

Hillary, October 24, 2012

Hillary’s first priority is to get to the bottom of what happened in Benghazi. That’s the right thing to do—and the way to make sure it doesn’t happen again. That’s why she has already testified on Capitol Hill about the tragedy (twice, in fact), and she has been asking to testify before the this committee for more than a  year so that the public can hear her answers.

Republicans, on the other hand, are going to exploit whatever they can to mislead voters about Hillary’s record. They’ll grill her about emails and anything else they can think of to discredit her.

But here’s what Hillary is going to do: stay focused, clarify the facts, and offer some lessons that we can learn to protect Americans going forward. The men and women who serve our country deserve nothing less.

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Opening Remarks Before the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs


Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State

Opening Remarks Before the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs

Washington, DC

February 28, 2012

Thank you very much, Chairman Leahy and Ranking Member Graham and members of the committee; it is good to be back here in the Senate again, and I greatly appreciate the excellent working relationship that we have had over the last three-plus years. I wish also to register my concern and my best wishes for Senator Kirk. Of course, I wrote him as soon as I heard about his health challenges, and we all wish him a speedy return.

I also greatly appreciate the travel that both of you have just described having taken. I think it’s absolutely essential to see what is going on in the world with your own eyes and to hear from leaders and citizens with your own ears. So let me express to you and to all members our appreciation.

We know how quickly the world is transforming, from Arab revolutions to the rise of new economic powers, to a more dispersed but still dangerous al-Qaida terrorist threat. In this time, only the United States of America has the reach, resources, and relationships to anchor a more peaceful and prosperous world. The State Department and USAID budget we discuss today is a proven investment in our national and economic security, but it’s also something more. It is a down payment on continuing American leadership.

When I took this job, I saw a world that needed America, but also one that questioned our focus and our staying power. So we have worked together to put American leadership on a firm foundation for the decades ahead. We have ended one war, we are winding down another. We’ve cemented our place as a Pacific power while maintaining our alliance across the Atlantic. We have elevated the role of economics within our diplomacy, and we have reached beyond governments to engage directly with people with a special focus on women and girls.

We are updating our diplomacy and development for the 21st century and finding ways to work smarter and more efficiently. After the first ever Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review, we created two new bureaus focused on counterterrorism and energy, and reorganized a third focused on fragile states.

Now, like many Americans in our tough economic times, we’ve made difficult tradeoffs and painful cuts. We have requested 18 percent less for Europe, Eurasia, and Central Asia, preserving our most essential programs and using the savings for more urgent needs elsewhere. We are scaling back on construction, improving procurement, and taking steps across the board to lower costs.

Now, within the Foreign Ops budget, the State Department and USAID are requesting $51.6 billion. That represents an increase of less than the rate of inflation and just over 1 percent of the federal budget, even as our responsibilities multiply around the world.

Today, I want to highlight five priorities.

First, our request allows us to sustain our vital national security missions in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan, and reflects the temporary extraordinary costs of operating on the front lines. As President Obama has said, the tide of war is receding, but as troops come home, civilians remain to carry out the critical missions of diplomacy and development.

In Iraq, civilians are now in the lead, helping that country emerge as a stable, sovereign, democratic partner. This does increase our civilian budget, but State and USAID are asking for only one-tenth of the $48 billion the United States Government spent on Iraq as recently as 2011. The 2013 U.S. Government-wide request for Iraq, including defense spending, is now $40 billion less than it was just two years ago. So we think that this is a continuing good investment to stabilize the sacrifice that our men and women in uniform, our civilians, our taxpayers, have made.

Over time, despite the past weeks’ violence, we expect to see similar government-wide savings in Afghanistan. This year’s request will support the ongoing transition, helping Afghans take responsibility for their own future and ensure their country is never again a safe haven for terrorists who can target us.

Next door, we have a challenging but critical relationship with Pakistan, and we remain committed to working on issues of joint interest, including counterterrorism, economic stability, and regional cooperation.

Second, in the Asia Pacific, this Administration is making an unprecedented effort to build a strong network of relationships and institutions in which the United States is anchored. In the century ahead, no region will be more consequential. As we tighten our belts around the world, we are investing the diplomatic attention necessary to do more with less. In Asia, we pursue what we call forward-deployed diplomacy – strengthening our alliances, launching new strategic dialogues and economic initiatives, creating and joining important multilateral institutions, pursuing a possible opening with Burma – all of which underscores that America will remain a Pacific power.

Third, we are focused on the wave of change sweeping the Arab world. As the region transforms, so must our engagement. Alongside our bilateral and security support, we are proposing a $770 million Middle East and North Africa Incentive Fund. This fund will support credible proposals validated by rigorous analysis and by Congress from countries that make a meaningful commitment to democratic change, effective institution building, and broad-based economic growth. In an unpredictable time, it lets us respond to all of the unanticipated needs in a way that reflects our leadership and agility in the region.

This budget request would also allow us to help the Syrian people survive a brutal assault and plan for a future without Assad. It continues our assistance for civil society and Arab partners in Jordan, Morocco, and elsewhere. And I want to echo Senator Graham’s emphasis on Tunisia, a country that I think deserves a lot of attention and support from the United States.

The budget also provides a record level of support for Israel and it makes possible our diplomacy at the UN and around the world, which has now put in place, with your help, the toughest sanctions Iran or any nation has ever faced.

The fourth priority is what I call economic statecraft; in particular, how we use diplomacy and development to create American jobs – jobs in Ohio and New Jersey and Maryland and Vermont and South Carolina and Indiana. We have more than 1,000 State Department economic officers working to help American businesses connect to new markets and consumers. We are pushing back against corruption, red tape, favoritism, distorted currencies, and intellectual property theft.

Our investment in development helps create the trading partners of the future, and we have worked closely on the three trade agreements that we believe will create tens of thousands of new American jobs. We hope to work with Congress to ensure that as Russia enters the WTO, foreign competitors do not have an advantage over American businesses.

And finally, we are elevating development alongside diplomacy and defense within foreign policy. Poverty, disease, hunger, climate change can destabilize entire societies and sow the seeds for future conflict. We have to make strategic investments today to meet even our traditional foreign policy goals tomorrow. Through the Global Health Initiative, we are consolidating programs, increasing partners’ capacities, and shifting responsibilities to help target our resources where they are most needed and highest impact, including in areas like maternal and child health. Our Feed the Future Initiative is helping millions of men, women, and children by driving agricultural growth and improving nutrition to hasten the day when countries no longer need food aid at all.

As we pursue these initiatives, we are transforming the way we do development, making it a priority to partner with governments, local groups, and the private sector to deliver measurable results. Ultimately, our goal is to empower people to create and seize their own opportunities.

These five priorities, Mr. Chairman, are each crucial for American leadership, and they rely on the work of some of the most capable, hardest working, and bravest people I have ever met: the men and women of State and USAID. Working with them is one of the greatest honors I have had in public life. So with so much on the line, we simply cannot pull back. And I know this subcommittee understands this.

But for me, American leadership is personal. After three years, 95 countries, over 700,000 miles, I know very well what it means to land in a plane that says United States of America on the side, to have that flag right there as I walk down the stairs. People look to us to protect our allies and stand by our principles and serve as an honest broker in making peace; in fighting hunger, poverty, and disease; to standing up to bullies and tyrants. American leadership is not just respected, it is required, and it takes more than just resolve and a lot of hours in the plane. It takes resources.

This country is an unparalleled force for good in the world, and we all want to make sure it stays that way. So I urge you to work with us to make this investment in strong American leadership and a more peaceful and prosperous future. Thank you very much.

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Back on Capitol Hill again – this time at the House. Yesterday, in the Senate she was her same awesome self as we saw in her days as Senator. When she speaks to the legislators, she almost does not take a breath. She wants to make every point and obviate every objection right then and there.

She was all: We’re getting rid of the expensive contractors and hiring in-house, and the additional developmental budget is offset by a reduction in the defense/military budget, so don’t even ask!

Daily Appointments Schedule for February 25, 2010

Washington, DC
February 25, 2010


9:30 a.m. Secretary Clinton appears before the House Foreign Affairs Committee, on Capitol Hill.

1:00 p.m. Secretary Clinton appears before the House Appropriations Subcommittee for State, Foreign Operations and Related Agencies, on Capitol Hill.

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Seems I cannot VodPod these Brightcove videos piggyback fashion two in one post. Pretty much the same speech – but a head-on view of our girl. You cannot OD on Hillary.

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more about “Hill on the Hill Today Part II“, posted with vodpod

FY 2010 Budget for the Department of State


Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Before the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs
Washington, DC
May 20, 2009

Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman, Senator Gregg, Senator Specter, Senator Bond. I’m very pleased to be here with you and to have this opportunity to discuss in some detail both the threats and the opportunities facing our country.
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 we face. We know we are confronting instability in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, and the Middle East; we have transnational threats like terrorism, nuclear proliferation, climate change; and we have urgent development needs ranging from extreme poverty to pandemic disease, all of which have a direct impact on our own security and prosperity.
Now, these are tough challenges, and we would be foolish to minimize the magnitude of the task ahead. But we also have new opportunities. By using all the tools of American power – the talent of our people, well-reasoned policies, strategic partnerships, and the strength of our principles – we can make great strides against the problems we’ve faced for generations, and address the new threats of the 21st century. This comprehensive approach to solving global problems and seizing opportunities is at the heart of smart power. And the President’s 2010 budget is a blueprint for how we intend to put smart power into action.
The President’s Fiscal Year 2010 budget request for the State Department and USAID is $48.6 billion, a 7 percent increase over Fiscal Year 2009 funding levels. We know this request comes at a time when other agencies are experiencing cutbacks and the American people are experiencing economic recession. But it is an indication of the critical role the State Department and USAID must play to help advance our nation’s interests, safeguard our security, and make us a positive force for progress worldwide.
Our success requires a robust State Department and USAID working side-by-side with a strong military. To exercise our global leadership effectively, we do need to harness all three Ds – diplomacy, development, and defense.
And this budget supports the State Department and USAID in three critical ways: First, it allows us to invest in our people; second, implement sound policies; and third, strengthen our partnerships. We know it represents a major investment. And we pledge to uphold principles of good stewardship and accountability.
Let me begin with people. The men and women of the State Department and USAID may have the world in their hands, but too many are trying to balance all the balls they have in the air. Many key positions at posts overseas are vacant for the simple reason we don’t have enough personnel. In Beijing, 18 percent of our Embassy positions are open. In Mumbai, 20 percent. In Jeddah, 29 percent. And we face similar staffing shortages here at the Department in Washington as well as USAID.
We need good people and we need enough of them. That’s why the President’s 2010 budget includes $283 million to facilitate the hiring of over 740 new Foreign Service personnel. This is part of a broader effort to expand the Foreign Service by 25 percent.
The staffing situation at USAID is even more severe. In 1990, USAID employed nearly 3,500 direct hire personnel to administer an annual assistance budget of $5 billion. Today, the agency’s staff has shrunk by roughly a third, but they are tasked with overseeing $13.2 billion. To provide the oversight that taxpayers deserve and to stay on target of doubling our foreign assistance by 2015, we simply need more people, good people, to do the jobs we’re asking them to do.
We need personnel with the right skills to respond to the complex emergencies of the 21st century. And that’s why we’re requesting $323 million for the Civilian Stabilization Initiative, and that includes expansion of the Civilian Response Corps. This group of professionals will help the United States stabilize and reconstruct societies in transition from conflict and civil strife.
Now, with the right people in the right numbers, we’ll be able to implement the policies that we think are right for our country, and we’re focusing on three priorities: first, urgent challenges and regions of concern, including Afghanistan and Pakistan, Iraq and Iran, and the Middle East; second, transnational challenges, such as the one that Senator Gregg just referred to, and development assistance.
Now, in Afghanistan and Pakistan, our efforts center on the President’s goal to dismantle, disrupt, and defeat al-Qaida. And we know this requires a balanced approach that takes more than military might alone. So we’re expanding civilian efforts and we’re ensuring that our strategy is fully integrated and adequately resourced.
We’re helping Afghans revitalize their country’s agricultural sector. In study after study, what we have found is that agriculture is still the mainstay for a country that is largely rural. It was once a major source of jobs, and in fact, of export revenue. Afghanistan was considered the garden of Central Asia. Unfortunately, that has been devastated by years of war and civil strife. We’re supporting the Pakistani military as they take on the extremists who confront their country’s stability. We’re making long-term investments in Pakistan’s people and the democratically elected government through targeted humanitarian assistance. And in both of these countries, we are holding these governments and ourselves accountable for progress toward defined objectives.

Finally, we’re seeking resources to deploy a new strategic communication strategy. I would love to get into more detail with you on this, but just suffice it to say, we are being out-communicated by the Taliban and al-Qaida. That is absolutely unacceptable. It is not only true in Afghanistan and Pakistan, but as Senator Bond, who is focused on Southeast Asia knows, it’s there as well. We have to do a better job of getting the story of the values, ideals, the results of democracy out to people who are now being fed a steady diet of the worse kind of disinformation. And even more than that, seeing the media used by these extremists to threaten and intimidate every single night, just as it used to be used in Iraq until we put a stop to it.

As we move forward with the responsible redeployment of our combat forces from Iraq, this budget provides the tools we need to facilitate the transition to a stable, sovereign, and self-reliant Iraq. I was recently in Iraq and we are very focused on implementing the strategic framework that went along with the Status of Forces Agreement so that we do what we can to help increase the capacity of the Iraqi Government.
And as you know, we’re working with Israel and the Palestinian Authority to advance our goal of a two-state solution, a future in which Israel and its Arab neighbors can live in peace and security.
In addition to these urgent challenges – and there are others that I haven’t had time to mention –we face a new array of transnational threats, none more important than the one Senator Gregg highlighted, but we have others as well: energy security, climate change, disease. The United States is not immune from any of these transnational threats. And we’ve got to develop new forms of diplomatic engagement. We cannot send a special envoy to negotiate with a pandemic, or call a summit with carbon dioxide, or sever relations with the global financial crisis. But what we can do is use our ability to convene, to create pragmatic and principled partnerships. We’re working through the Major Economies Forum in preparation for the Climate Conference in Copenhagen. We’re deploying new approaches to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons. We’re now a full partner in the P-5+1 talks. And as you know, the President and I have launched a six-year, $63 billion Global Health Initiative to help combat the spread of disease.
Development will play a critical role in what we try to do. And I think we have underplayed the importance of development in creating both goodwill among people and stronger partnerships with governments. We’re going to be asking for $525 million for maternal and child health, nearly 1 billion for education, 1.36 billion for addressing the root causes of food insecurity, and 4.1 billion for humanitarian assistance, including care for refugees, displaced persons, and emergency food aid. We really believe this will advance our values. And I know, Mr. Chairman, you agree with us on that.
Our smart power approach will rely on partnerships, and that begins with our own government. We are seeking an unprecedented level of cooperation between our agencies. Secretary Gates highlighted this cooperation when he testified before you last month. These partnerships are critical. If we’re going to be successful in addressing food security, then we’ve got to get everybody who deals with food aid and sustainable agriculture in the same room, around the same table, hammering out the American approach, not the State Department or the USAID or the USDA or some other approach. It’s got to be a team. And we’re trying to forge those teams. We think it will make us more efficient and cost-effective at the same time.
We’re also looking to revitalize our historic alliances in Europe, Latin America, Africa and Asia, strengthen and deepen our bilateral ties with emerging regional leaders like Indonesia, Brazil, Turkey, Mexico, and India, and we are working to establish more constructive and candid relationships with China and Russia.
We’re asking for $4.1 billion for contributions to multilateral organizations and peacekeeping efforts. This is a good down payment for us, because for every peacekeeper that the United Nations puts in the field, like the ones I saw in Haiti a few weeks ago, it saves us money. We don’t have to intervene, or walk away, turn our back and live with the consequences.
We’re also expanding our partnerships beyond traditional government-to-government efforts. We’re working with women’s groups and civil society, human rights activists around the world, and we’re encouraging more people-to-people cooperation. I believe this may be one of the great new tools that we have in our diplomacy. Last week, I announced the creation of a Virtual Student Foreign Service that will bring together college students in the United States and our embassies abroad to work on digital and citizen diplomacy initiatives.
But finally, we must rely on sound principles to guide our actions, and we are committed to practicing what we preach. And that includes having an accountable government here at home.
We’re working to make the State Department more efficient, transparent, and effective. For the first time, we have filled the position of Deputy Secretary for Resources and Management. And we’re going to be reforming our processes in both the State Department and USAID.
Mr. Chairman, we’re pursuing these policies because we think it’s in America’s interests. No country benefits more than the United States when there is greater security, democracy, and opportunity in the world. And no country carries a heavier burden when things go badly. Every year we spend hundreds of billions of dollars dealing with the consequences of war, disease, violent ideologies, and vile dictatorships.
Since last testifying before this Committee, I’ve traveled around the globe, covering many miles and many continents. And I can assure you there is a genuine eagerness to partner with the United States again in finding solutions. Our investment in diplomacy and development is a fraction, a tiny fraction of our total national security budget. But I really believe our country will make very few investments that do more, dollar-for-dollar, to create the kind of world we want for our children. By relying on the right people, the right policies, strong partnerships, and sound principles, we can have a century of progress and prosperity led by the United States of America.
And Mr. Chairman, thank you for this opportunity to present the President’s budget request. And I look forward to answering your questions.
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