Ranking Member DeLauro Statement at the Fiscal Year 2024 Department of State Budget Request Hearing

2023-03-23 15:05

Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro (D-CT-03), Ranking Member of the House Appropriations Committee delivered the following remarks at the State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs Subcommittee's hearing on the Fiscal Year 2024 budget request for the Department of State:

Thank you very much, Chairman Diaz-Balart and Ranking Member Lee, for hosting what is a very important hearing. Mr. Secretary,thank you for being here today, and welcome to you.

Over the past two years, with your visionary leadership and steadfast commitment to the safety and security of our nation and the world, the Biden Administration has made great strides toward restoring America’s place as a leader on the world stage. You are at the forefront of addressing some of the most pressing global challenges.

And in partnership with you, this Committee has passed bills over the past two years that strengthen our alliances… promote democracy and improve our diplomatic capabilities… support our world’s most vulnerable people… and bolster global public health infrastructure. You know, like we know, that our nation is safer when, alongside defense, we provide significant funding for diplomacy, development, and humanitarian assistance.

Though I am so proud of the progress we have made, extreme House Republican calls to cut 2024 spending to the 2022 level and even more extreme calls by former Republican officials to fully eliminate critical foreign policy agencies and programs threaten global democracy and the health and safety of our nation and the world.

Given the enduring global challenges we are facing, I am glad to see that the President’s budget request seeks to address them.

This moment in time requires that the United States be present and participating in multilateral forums and with a diplomatic staff that represents the diversity and richness of our nation. I am glad that the President’s budget request invests in our diplomatic corps and increases our contributions to key UN agencies and peacekeeping operations. Having a seat at the table is the only way we can maintain our role as a global leader and advance our interests.

And as natural disasters, the pandemic, rising food and fuel prices, conflicts, and the war in Ukraine show so clearly, America’s support for vulnerable communities around the globe is critical. That is why I am pleased to see the President’s request for increased funding for humanitarian aid, development assistance, economic support, and democracy programs—because we should be reaffirming our commitment to those most in need, not eliminating support for global democracy, for refugees, and for the programs that improve the lives of women and girls.

It is simply the right thing to do—and as the pandemic has made abundantly clear, keeping others safe keeps us safe as well. As the budget request confirms with new funding for global health, health workers, and pandemic preparedness, we must never shortchange these programs—they are critical to ensuring that we do not incur the destructive costs of a new pandemic.

Our nation is at an inflection point—will we ensure we are equipped to handle the crises of the future? Or will we allow ourselves to fall behind in global goals and leave our allies behind with baseless, politically motivated budget cuts?

I will fight hard so that we are equipped to work with partners around the world to solve the most pressing challenges of our day. I look forward to hearing from you, Secretary Blinken, on how we continue to do that.

With that, I thank Chairman Diaz-Balart and Ranking Member Lee, and I yield back.


118th Congress