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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
Testimony before the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Foreign Operations
Washington, DC
May 15, 2001

[As Prepared]

As Delivered

Well, thank you very much, Mr. Chairman, for your warm welcome, and I thank you for your opening statement. And Senator Leahy, I thank you for your opening remarks, and I look forward to hearing from the other members of the Committee during the question and answer period.

And I want to let you know, Mr. Chairman and members of the Committee, that I do look forward to working with the Committee in the months ahead. I think it is an important part of my responsibilities to work closely with the Congress and with all the various committees. This will be my eighth hearing in the three-plus months that I have been Secretary of State, among other duties that I have performed, but I view this kind of interchange with the Congress as important as any other duty that I have. So I appreciate your welcome, and I look forward to working with you in the future.

Before getting into a shortened version of my prepared testimony, perhaps I would just touch briefly on some of the points, Mr. Chairman, you raised and Senator Leahy raised. With respect to earmarks and directives and restrictions, I understand the reality of such things, and I thank you for the opportunity to be graded on the basis of the declining number of earmarks and directives that you will find it necessary to impose upon me and the Administration in the months and years ahead.

I hope that we can work together closely so that we can satisfy the concerns and needs of the Congress and accommodate the imperatives of the Congress in a way that is faithful, tone and tint, to what the Congress wishes to see happen, but also gives the Administration, gives the President, the necessary flexibility and his team the necessary flexibility to react to changing events without being overly constrained by provisions of law, earmarks and restrictions. And I look forward to having that relationship with you, Mr. Chairman and the members of the Committee and other committees, toward that end so that we do what is in the best interest of the nation, as determined by the President and the Congress -- in the name of the people, but do it in a way that gives the President maximum flexibility to conduct foreign policy.

On the Ex-Im Bank, yes, there has been a decrease, but we think it is a reasonable decrease in light of the policy changes that accompany that decrease. And those policy changes include encouraging companies that have access to private capital markets to go to those private capital markets rather than coming to the government; and for those who do come to the government, taking on a slightly higher level of risk as part of their business activity, thereby allowing us to reduce that account and make it less of a drain against the American taxpayers.

We will be looking at this very, very carefully to make sure that we have not done anything that is disruptive to the activities of the Bank or undercut the foreign policy goals that we have for the Bank.

With respect to the Andean Regional Initiative and the counter-drug initiative within it, I think it is a logical and comprehensive follow-on to Plan Colombia where we are expanding our efforts throughout the whole region. And I'll have a little bit more to say about that in my statement, but I think we can make a case that this is a worthwhile investment in our overall drug strategy, but also in our overall development strategy. Not just going after drugs in those regions as sources of drugs that come to the United States, but also helping to improve the lives of those people, help their democracy become stabilized, fight off the corrosive effect of narco-trafficking on their democracies.

So in the programs we are going to be requesting, and the money we are requesting for those programs in this fiscal year budget, you'll see us talk about democracy-building activities, alternative crops, things of that nature, as well as the more standard kinds of drug interdiction activities.

Similarly, I will say a little bit more about AIDS in a moment, but it is a crisis. Not only in sub-Saharan Africa, it's a crisis in Russia about to happen, it's a crisis in other parts of the world. And it is not just a health care crisis, it is a destroyer of culture, a destroyer of families, a destroyer of economies, and it is something that we have to give a lot of attention to. And as Senator Leahy noted, the President has taken us to a new level of commitment to this war, by participating in the Global Trust Fund that is being created, and by committing $200 million to that Global Trust Fund, on top of the very significant contribution that the United States makes towards the war on AIDS, HIV-AIDS, already.

On your concern with respect to the use of foreign assistance funds for the West Bank, Gaza and Egypt, I think we have to look at these carefully. I think we have to be a responsible partner for the parties in the region at this time of high stress, this time of high violence, in order to get them back to a situation where we can pursue a negotiating track. And I am sure we can talk about that more in the course of questions and answers. But I take your points with respect to those two particular accounts, West Bank, Gaza, and then Egypt.

On Burma, Cambodia, East Timor and Indonesia, Mr. McConnell, Senator McConnell, I can assure you that the Administration, President Bush, me and all the members of the Administration, are committed to human rights everywhere throughout the world, as universal rights belonging to every child of God, whether that child is in the United States or in Burma. And you will see us aggressively pursue our human rights agenda at every opportunity.

Some people suggest that one of the reasons we ran into some trouble on the Human Rights Committee vote was because we were too aggressive. And, frankly, when we had the Geneva meetings a few weeks ago, we were very aggressive. I was calling foreign ministers and presidents, the President was calling presidents, Dr. Rice was involved in it. We were pushing for the resolutions we thought were important.

And we may have made a few people mad at us by the aggressive manner in which we pursue human rights issues. We probably made some more people mad at us when we released our Human Rights Report that called things the way those things are around the world. And if that's what made people mad, well, they're going to stay mad because we are going to continue to point out human rights abuses, we're going to continue to work on this issue. And I also believe that we will get back on that Commission if that's what we choose to do next year, and I think that's what we should do next year, subject to the President's final approval.

And I would encourage the Congress to be cautious with respect to punishing the United Nations for this particular problem. We lost a vote. It was a democratic vote. We don't like the outcome, we may not like the fact that people trade votes. But nevertheless, we lost the vote. We should take our hit and now look to build on the future and not take actions which are punitive or suggest that you're not going to get the money we owe you unless you guarantee that we will win the next vote. We should win the next vote on our merit and the case we will make on that next vote and not because we're holding a financial hammer over the heads of the members of that Committee that did not vote for us this time.

And so I think it is important for us to keep that loss in perspective and recognize that we still have observer status on that Commission, that we will be able to help others introduce resolutions. We won't be able to vote for that one year that we are out, but we will still be able to communicate in a very, very powerful, clear voice our concerns about human rights. And nothing associated with that vote should suggest to anybody that the United States or the Bush Administration is going to hold back from speaking about human rights.

With respect to Senator Leahy's comments about whether our foreign policy is well thought out, whether we act -- say we are going to be humble but act arrogantly, I think over time Senator Leahy will see that we do have a foreign policy that is well thought out, that begins here in the Western Hemisphere. The Summit of the Americas a few weeks ago was very, very successful with a powerful commitment to democracy. We are working with our allies in Europe, we are working with nations that used to be enemies. My Russian colleague, Igor Ivanov will be here this Friday for a full day's worth of discussions on every issue affecting our two nations. And so you will find us reach out increasingly.

The President will be going to an EU summit meeting and a Brussels summit meeting with his NATO allies, or a ministerial or presidential -- chief of state meetings -- in June and then we have the G-8 coming up in July. And you will see us increasingly engaged in Europe.

Once we get this incident of the airplane completely behind us, you will see us engage with China. And we still have strong allies in Japan, in South Korea. We will be building on those alliances. And I think you will see over time emerge a foreign policy that is humble, not arrogant, that reflects the best values of the American people, and that reflects our position in the world as a powerful nation that has to use that power, not be afraid to use it. But, in using it, use it with humility and use it to pursue well thought out policies and well thought out concepts of where we need to be going on the world stage. And I hope we'll be able to persuade you of that.

For my brief opening statement -- and I will summarize it very quickly -- I would just like to mention to the members of the Committee that while, by law, I am the principal foreign policy advisor to the President, I am also, if not stated directly in the law, I am the leader and manager of the Department of the State. I am the CEO, the Chief Operating Officer, the person who is responsible for motivating a superb work force and taking care of them, make sure they have what they need to do their job well.

As both the Chairman and Senator Leahy mentioned, it is our obligation, once we have set goals for those diplomats of ours to achieve, we've got to give them the resources they need to do the job. And this budget request that I'm up here defending as the CEO of the State Department, I think does a good job of moving us in that direction. It represents an increase over the previous year budget and of the overall $23.9 billion in the President's Fiscal Year Budget Request for the State Department, $15.2 billion is for foreign operations, about 2 percent more than last year, with some puts and takes in that number.

Let me give you a few highlights of the budget and then go directly to your questions. You have already heard, as you indicated, Mr. Chairman, from USAID Administration Andy Natsios, I think we are very, very fortunate in getting a man of his qualifications to lead USAID. He comes in with lots of new ideas, he knows the organization, he's going to challenge it, he's going to take it up to a new level, he's going to bring in some new ideas. And the idea that he discussed with you on global development alliances I think is an example of the kind of creative thinking that you will see coming out of USAID.

USAID will be more closely aligned with the State Department than it has been in the past. I view myself as the owner of the USAID even though it's an independent agency, but the law says it is my responsibility to give them direction, to give them policy direction and supervise them. And I can assure you, I do that.

Mr. Natsios is at my 8:30 staff meeting every single morning with every other principal leader in the Department of State. He is part of my team. And I am going to do everything I can to make sure that USAID is successful and that it uses the money given to it by the American people in the most effective way possible, and especially through this global development alliance idea that Mr. Natsios has discussed with you, to leverage some of the resources that USAID has, to bring in other agencies, other activities, NGOs, the private sector, and figure out clever ways and creative ways to leverage up our federal dollars into maximizing the opportunity to bring in private dollars and other means of investing in the development work that we'll be doing all around the world. So I am very, very proud to say this about USAID and also say that I think we've got a real winner in Mr. Natsios.

We talked briefly -- I touched briefly on the Andean Regional Initiative. Let me just say that in the over $800 million for this initiative, about half is for Colombia, half is for the other nations in the region. About half is for drug interdiction, the other half is for those other activities I mentioned of crop substitution, democracy building, investment in the infrastructure, giving these populations the wherewithal to resist -- resist the corruption and the corrosiveness that comes with the presence of narco-traffickers in the region -- not just in Colombia but throughout the whole region.

Obviously the ultimate solution to this problem is demand reduction. The ultimate solution to this problem is prevention and rehabilitation of people who have been drug users through treatment. And the new czar, the new director of this program, Mr. Walters, has made a commitment and the President has made a commitment to focus on demand reduction as well as supply reduction and interdiction efforts. But I think to keep going with the programs that we have now, I would ask the Congress to fully support the request that we have made for the Andean Regional Initiative.

As you also know, $369 million is in our budget for HIV-AIDS. When you add what other government agencies are doing, that number with respect to HIV-AIDS quickly goes over $500 million. And of course Secretary Thompson has a lot more money in his budget at HHS on research, looking for a cure, encouraging drug companies to move, everything that's done at the National Institutes of Health, through Medicare and other programs, so that billions more really are involved in treating, preventing and fighting AIDS.

A lot more needs to be done. The $200 million program that the President seeded last week with Kofi Annan has to grow. Other nations have to get involved. Non-profit organizations, private citizens have to get involved. That fund needs a lot more money, and the President has committed to doing more for that fund, and I think that the Administration should be congratulated for helping pull the fund together and for seeding it with that initial $200 million.

As you may also have noted from that announcement, Secretary Tommy Thompson and I now co-chair a task force on HIV-AIDS for the President, working closely with Mr. Scott Evretz, the new AIDS policy director in the White House.

There are many other items in the budget that could be highlighted, Mr. Chairman, but they are known to you. They are available to you in my prepared testimony, my longer testimony. So what I think I will do at this point is essentially close these few opening remarks and turn it over to questions, with one final observation. And that is, I cannot tell you how proud I am to be the Secretary of State and to have the opportunity to lead these wonderful men and women, members of the professional Foreign Service, members of the Civil Service, our Foreign Service Nationals around the country.

They are doing a great job for America on our first line of offense, carrying our values, carrying our moral model, our moral inspiration, out to the world. And we have to make sure they are protected in good embassy buildings. We have to make sure they are well compensated, well rewarded, that their families are taken care of. And that is my obligation to them, and I will be fighting for what I believe they need to do their jobs for the American people with all of my energy and with all of my strength, just as I used to do when I was wearing a different kind of uniform.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

Released on May 15, 2001

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