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 You are in: Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice > Former Secretaries of State > Former Secretary of State Colin L. Powell > Speeches and Remarks > 2001 > May

Testimony on the President's International Affairs Budget for FY 2002

Secretary Colin L. Powell
House Appropriations Subcommittee on Foreign Operations, Export Financing and Other Programs
Washington, DC
May 10, 2001

Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman, and thank you, Mrs. Lowey, for those opening remarks and thank you for allowing my full statement to go into the record.

What I would like to do, Mr. Chairman, is to summarize that statement, touching on a few high points, and then before going to your questions, responding to the specific points that were made by you, Mrs. Lowey.

First of all, let me say that I did not miss, Mr. Chairman, in your opening sentence the observation that you provide two-thirds of the funds that the State Department needs and uses. I will never forget that opening statement and the message that you have emblazoned on my forehead. And I can also assure you that I look forward to the most cooperative relationship with this subcommittee, but with all the committees of Congress.

I think this is either my sixth or seventh hearing in the three-plus months that I have been Secretary of State, and I have not avoided or turned down a single one because I think it is my responsibility to make the case to the Congress about the need for the resources that we're getting and to justify any increases to the level you gave us last year. And so I see this not as something that is not part of my job, or an annoyance, but an essential part of my job.

Because for us to have the right kind of foreign policy, as you made your reference to the Constitution, it has to be joined in joint responsibility between the United States Congress and the administration with the President formulating foreign policy but always formulating it in the name of the people. And the Congress is also in the name of the people. So we all have to work together, Mr. Chairman, and I pledge my cooperation.

I am very pleased then to be before you for the first time as Secretary of State and to testify in support of this very imposing budget request for foreign operations for the year 2002. The request represents a needed increase in the Department's dollars for the upcoming fiscal year and we are pleased that it does show an increase. And I hope that it is just a good start. I hope that in future years I can make the case to the President, to OMB, and to the Congress that it is a wise investment, it is a good use of the people's dollars to invest in activities outside our borders which affect us more and more directly every day because of the nature of the changing world and the impact of globalization. We are not alone. We are not an island alone anymore. And the investments we make overseas will redound to our credit in due course. This is the first step, then, of what I hope will be further requests for additional resources to help us do the work of the American people.

As Secretary of State, I feel very strongly about the following point, and that is that I wear two hats: I'm the foreign policy advisor to the President of the United States, but I am also the chief officer, chairman, CEO, COO of the Department of State. And as such, I believe I have an obligation to do everything I can to lead and manage the wonderful men and women of the Department of State: the Foreign Service professionals we have, the Civil Service professionals we have, and the Foreign Service Nationals who support us so very, very well around the world. But since this committee is particularly interested in the foreign policy aspect of my job, I will wear that hat for the purposes of this testimony.

Of the $23.9 billion in the budget request from the President, there is $15.2 billion for foreign operations, about 2 percent more than last year. And let me just touch on some of the highlights of that request, and then get into the specific issues that were just mentioned.

The budget marks a rather significant change with respect to the United States Agency for International Development. The budget marks the beginning of rather a new strategic orientation for USAID. The Bush Administration intends to address the new development assistance demands of a globalizing world by concentrating USAID resources and capabilities for a more effective method of delivery. We are calling this new approach the Global Development Alliance. It is global because, as I noted earlier, America has interests everywhere. It is an alliance because we are acknowledging the need for partners in addition to the traditional government partners overseas with whom we have always worked or other government partners right here in the United States.

Over the past 20 years, as you know from your own travels and experience, a growing number of new actors have arrived in power on the world stage. Non-governmental organizations, private voluntary organizations, foundations, corporations, universities and even individuals of considerable wealth or personal talent are now providing development assistance on a global or regional basis. We need to support and help these sorts of efforts and form alliances with them.

So USAID, as part of this GDA, as we call it, Global Development Alliance, will be reaching out and trying to play the role of a strategic alliance investor, a role analogous to a venture capital partner. Unlike a venture capital fund, however, the agency would not seek to establish equity positions or seek early exits from the activities in which it invests. Sustained improvement, sustained involvement with these kinds of organizations, leveraging up US dollars with the dollars they bring or the energy they bring, it seems to us, will pay off in the future as a force multiplier that will help us with our development goals and objectives.

Of course, USAID will continue to deploy resources where private funding is not available and for activities where the need for a governmental role is clear and preeminent if we are to create institutional and policy changes. And I know that you will be hearing from the new USAID Director, Andy Natsios, within the next two weeks, and he can go into incredible detail on this new way of looking at it.

I also want to say that I feel that I am enormously fortunate and the American people should be very, very fortunate that Andy Natsios has taken on this job. He is going to being energy to USAID. He is going to bring new ideas. I have charged him to be a change agent in USAID, to look for new ways of doing the work of USAID. It is a marvelous organization full of terrific people who have done a great job, and they are ready to do better, they are ready to change and they are ready to change in accordance with the demands of the 21st century.

To touch on a couple of the questions that you and Mrs. Lowey raised with respect to USAID, as you know, USAID reports to the Secretary of Defense and is under my authority and policy direction. But I still see it as that independent agency that has unique talent in it. And I'm not going to do anything that would get in the way of the use of that talent or get in the way of Andy Natsios running a dynamic organization.

One of the reasons, among many reasons that we created this new office with a new Assistant Secretary, is to pull all the resources pieces that were laying around the Department. It took us weeks to kind of figure out where the pockets of money were, how did they flow, how were they linked to strategic objectives, who had the authority to move money, who had authority to say, EUR, sorry, we're taking something from you to give to South Asia or somewhere else. Where did that all come together in one place?

And we found that we weren't doing it well enough. And so we're creating this Assistant Secretary and elevating his position so that he reports directly to the Under Secretary of Management and, through him, to the Deputy Secretary and to me. And the Deputy Secretary and I, Mr. Armitage and I, are interchangeable; I've delegated almost all authority that I have to him, and so we have two people running this outfit. I will occasionally revert to my original language of infantry, but we've got two people running this outfit, two people who are committed to leading it on a day-by-day basis as leaders and managers, as well as foreign policy people.

And I think what you will see is that this will help USAID protect themselves from errant runs and flank attacks on their various accounts, and it will also empower Mr. Natsios to do a better job by having a single point of entrée with respect to resource management into the Department of State.

Andy attends my staff meeting every single morning. He sits in my conference room, the large conference room in my suite, every single morning at 8:30 with all my Assistant Secretaries and Under Secretaries. He is an essential and integral part of the State family, and that's the way we're going to be running the organization.

So I think I can allay any concerns you might have with respect to the relationship between USAID and me and the Department of State and how we will work all issues with them, either resource management or other kinds of strategic issues.

Mr. Chairman, the budget request also fully funds for 2002 scheduled payments to the multilateral development banks. And taking into account the carryover of funds from 2001, it fully funds America's commitment to help finance Highly Indebted Poor Country debt reductions by the multinational development banks.

With respect to the comment, ma'am, that you made earlier about the Ex-Im Bank, we think that changing the risk levels and asking private companies to take on a slightly higher degree of the risk associated with their investments justified us lowering the amount of money being requested for Ex-Im Bank. In other words, in collaboration, you take on a greater part of the risk, you be a little more careful about the kinds of things you invest in, and we can return a couple hundred million bucks to the taxpayers. It seemed to us this was reasonable, it was sound, and we can monitor to see how it works out in the fiscal year for which it is requested.

Another strategic orientation I want to call to your attention -- and it goes to some of the points that were raised -- is our Andean Regional Initiative. Important US national interests are at stake in the Andean region. Democracy is under pressure in all of the countries of the Andes. Economic development has been slow and progress toward economic liberalization has been inconsistent. The region, as has been noted, continues to produce all of the world's cocaine and an increasing amount of heroin. All of these problems are inter-related and need to be addressed in a comprehensive way.

Plan Colombia was an approach to do that, and the money that was allocated for Plan Colombia last year allowed us to get a jump start in going after those fields, and there was a significant military component to it. But we recognized -- the previous administration recognized and we recognized as soon as we came in -- that you don't solve the problem just by squeezing it here and pushing it somewhere else, and you don't solve the problem by pushing it somewhere else without development activities, human rights activities, alternatives, crop substitution, and a broad array of other things you have to do for the other countries in the region.

And so the Andean Regional Initiative moves us in that direction in this fiscal year request, and the total amount of dollars we'll have available, not only from your appropriation but from other assets available to the Department, will reach $882 million for the Andean Regional Initiative. About 45 percent will go to Colombia, 55 percent to other countries in the region, roughly half for counter-narcotics interdiction activities, the other half for these other activities such as alternative development, development assistance, child survival and diseases, as was mentioned, economic support funding, and other activities that help to build hope in a different way so that people can start looking in other directions and not trying to figure out how they can grow coca because they want to sell it to the United States.

And I think you will also see a more intense direction of this effort now that the President has announced earlier today his new narcotics czar, Mr. Walters, and we look forward to working with him with respect to the Andean Regional Initiative.

Mr. Chairman, there are several other areas I just want to touch on and then get into your questions and my answers. We have $369 million in the budget request to continue the fight on HIV-AIDS. When you add in monies available in other departments of the Executive Branch, the number goes to over $500 million. Congress has been very generous. This represents a 100 percent increase in the last several years, and frankly no other country is anywhere close, or combination of countries, anywhere close to the contribution that the United States is making to this fight.

And then if you look in HHS and other accounts, you can find billions of additional dollars that are being used within the United States alone to fight against HIV-AIDS. As was noted, tomorrow the President will be making an important announcement on this subject, and I will let him have the benefit of the attention of that announcement.

But I think it is an exciting announcement. It will be made in conjunction with the Secretary General of the United Nations and it takes us in a new direction and we will use funds that we believe are available from other accounts, not taking away from the HIV funding we're doing now, and make a significant new contribution to this new proposal of a trust fund and do it in a way that will encourage many other nations to join us and many other organizations and private citizens and NGOs and maybe even kids dropping nickels and dimes in mite boxes or March of Dimes kind -- it's that kind of a challenge, it's that kind of a crisis and we have to get everybody involved.

And I think, as a result of the President's announcement tomorrow, you will see that the United States will be playing a leading role. We are committed to playing a leading role in the fight against HIV-AIDS and other related infectious diseases, malaria and tuberculosis, especially in sub-Saharan Africa. But it is not just a sub-Saharan African problem. It's in the Caribbean, it's in the Subcontinent, it is in Russia and many other places. And it's going to require the whole world to get involved. And it's not just a health crisis, it's a crisis of nation states.

Nations will collapse if they don't fix this problem. It is destroying families, it's destroying cultures. It is destroying everything that people live for and hoped for. And it requires that kind of an approach and the United States will be in a leadership role.

Secretary Thompson and I, Secretary of Health and Human Services Thompson and I, will be leading a joint task force for the President on this subject. So we have both the foreign and domestic policies linked together. And we are also working closely with the HIV-AIDS director in the White House, Mr. Scott Evretz. A major, major challenge.

On just a few other items, $110 million increase in military assistance funding, $36 million increase in disaster assistance funding, $17 million in migration and refugee assistance and a number of other programs that I think are well documented in my formal statement and in the budget submission itself. And let me just say that I hope I can satisfy the committee and the members of Congress that the increase we have asked for is right and appropriate and I hope in the course of our discussions here today and in my conversations with members of the Budget Committee, we can get the entire allocation up to 15.1. We need it all. We can justify it all. I will fight for it all and I hope as we go through this process, we will be successful.

I've touched on a number of your opening comments. But let me make one or two additional comments just to make sure I haven't forgotten anything. With respect to earmarks, Mr. Chairman, I know that there are occasions when an earmark is probably quite appropriate, when you want to get the administration's attention or you think we haven't been paying attention. And I understand that the Senate feels particularly strongly about this from time to time.

But every earmark takes away flexibility from the administration, and when you look at earmarks and sanctions and certifications and requirements and all sorts of things that I discovered when I returned to government and took over the Department of State, it is very, very limiting and inhibiting on the ability of the President and the Secretary of State to conduct foreign policy in the most effective manner possible. We are not trying to get out of oversight. But we need much more flexibility in the conduct of foreign policy than we currently enjoy. And I don't shrink from making this statement and I look forward to working with all of the committees that I work with to see if we can start moving in the other direction, start sun-setting some of these requirements.

I am not a rookie or naïve. I know in many cases, things are imposed upon us in order to keep from having something worse imposed upon us. And that happens from time to time. But I think we have to take a hard look at all of these things to make sure that they are serving their originally intended purpose and they are continuing to serve the will of the American people.

Mr. Chairman, if you ever catch me breaching one of your reprogramming rules, I would expect you to haul me up here and let me know about it. Call me, sir. Chew me out. Nail me. And if I don't have a good reason, I'll fix it. If I do have a good reason, well, we might have to have a discussion. But I will always try to abide by the will of the Congress, both in tone and intent. And you can be assured of that. And I think I have a record and a reputation for that from my previous assignments in government.

Trade and export promotion, I couldn't agree with you more. Trade is what's fueling globalization. It is a mixed blessing. With globalization, you create the opportunities for wealth around the world, for people to get on that lowest rung of wealth creation and start up. But we have to be careful when we do that to make sure that labor is protected, to make sure we are not taking advantage of people. And so I am a free trader, the State Department is committed to free trade just as much as you know the President is. And we look forward to working with the Congress and I am closely working with Mr. Zoellick on all of the various pieces that are out there, from trade promotion authority to the various bilateral agreements.

Middle East, perhaps I can respond to a question so as to not take time, since it looks like some of you may have to leave for the vote. I have talked on Plan Colombia and Mexico City policy -- thank you, ma'am. The President, I think, has made a persuasive case. We still are contributing well over $400 million to family assistance programs, and in the few instances where the Mexico City policy has affected a number of worthy deliverers of care, I think that they have been successful in finding alternative means of support and able to carry out their important function.

I think I have touched on many of the things you are interested in. If time permits, I would like to say a word about the Human Rights Commission, unless you have to start going, Mr. Chairman.

CHAIRMAN KOLBE: I suspect you are going to get a lot of questions on that.

SECRETARY POWELL: Why don't I wait, then, okay?

CHAIRMAN KOLBE: Okay. That would be helpful.

SECRETARY POWELL: I will end at this point. Thank you.

Released on May 10, 2001

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