Chairwoman Lee Holds Hearing with Secretary Blinken on State Department Budget Request
Washington, D.C. – Congresswoman Barbara Lee, Chair of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on State and Foreign Operations, today held a hearing with Secretary of State Anthony Blinken to discuss President Biden’s State and Foreign Operations budget request for Fiscal Year 2023.
The Department of State is at the forefront of advancing America’s diplomatic, development, and humanitarian efforts to save lives of the most vulnerable people, promote stability, democracy and human rights, and increase engagement with the rest of the world.
With the present international challenges being immense and ever changing, Congress must continue to provide crucial funding to ensure that America is exercising both discretion and proactiveness to address the many global issues that people face today.
“The international challenges we face today are obvious and immense,” said Chairwoman Lee. “The COVID-19 pandemic still ravages the world. Fundamental democratic values are under threat—not least in Russia’s unprovoked invasion of Ukraine, but also in many countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America. Climate change and war are fueling a looming food crisis. And division, violence, poverty, and natural and man-made disasters seem on the rise on just about every continent.
“The budget of the State Department, the U.S. Agency for International Development, and our other international agencies are tasked with responding to all of these challenges. That is why I have long argued that our international affairs budget should be equal to, if not greater than, our military budget. Our military tools should be used as the last resort, whereas the resources we provide to diplomatic, development, and humanitarian efforts are on the front lines every single day working to save lives, promote stability, and increase engagement.
“I appreciate Secretary Blinken’s participation in this hearing, as well as his steadfast commitment to diplomacy and global development. I look forward to continuing to work alongside my colleagues to enact the President’s budget, ensure the State Department’s needs are met and solidify our leadership on the world stage.”
President Bident’s budget request for fiscal year 2023 is $65.77 billion, a $7.8 billion increase, for humanitarian, global health, climate, and democracy programs. The increases reflected in the proposed budget cover several initiatives and efforts by the Department of State and USAID including:
- Global Health Programs: $10.5 billion, a 10.7 percent increase, for Global Health programs above the fiscal year 2022 level.
- Climate Change: $2.3 billion for bilateral, regional, and multilateral programming to combat global climate change, including funding for the Green Climate Fund.
- Contributions for International Peacekeeping Activities (CIPA): Requested at $2.327 billion, $828.6 million (55.3%) above the fiscal year 2022 enacted level. Includes full payment of U.S. assessments for UN peacekeeping missions at the current rate as well as arrears.
- Gender Equality: Requested at $2.6 billion, which is intended to double the amount provided for gender equality and represents the largest-ever investment in the empowerment of women and girls worldwide.
- Democracy Programs: Requested at $2.9 billion, an increase of $300 million above the fiscal year 2022 enacted. This request supports the President’s Summit for Democracies and restores/defends democratic institutions against authoritarianism.
- Europe, Eurasia, and Central Asia: A total of $1.6 billion is requested across all accounts for Europe, Eurasia, and Central Asia to support Ukraine and other allies and partners in the face of Russian invasion of Ukraine and threats to other countries in the region. The request includes a total of $682.4 million for Ukraine.
To watch Chairwoman Lee’s opening statement, click here.
Congresswoman Lee is a member of the House Appropriations Committee and Chair of the Subcommittee on State and Foreign Operations. She serves as Co-Chair of the Steering & Policy Committee, former Chair of the Congressional Black Caucus, Chair Emeritus of the Progressive Caucus, Co-Chair of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus Health Task Force, and Co-Chair of the Pro-Choice Caucus. She also serves as Chair of the Majority Leader’s Task Force on Poverty and Opportunity. As a member of the House Democratic Leadership, she is the highest ranking Black woman in the U.S. Congress.