Republicans propose cuts to US State Dept, UN

By Agence France-Presse
Saturday, February 12, 2011 10:19 EDT
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WASHINGTON – A Republican budget plan would cut billions of dollars in spending on the State Department and foreign programs, including US contributions to the United Nations.

The proposed cuts, announced Friday, are part of an overall Republican effort in the House of Representatives to reduce spending by $100 billion over the next seven months. Leaders in the Democrat-controlled Senate say the proposals are unrealistic.

The planned cuts to State Department and foreign operations amount to $3.8 billion, or an eight percent reduction from last year.

“I will ensure that our foreign aid is not used as a stimulus bill for foreign countries,” Republican congresswoman Kay Granger, who chairs a budget subcommittee, said in a statement.

The bill proposes “scaling back contributions to the United Nations and other international organizations, and eliminating wasteful, duplicative and ineffective programs.”

However, the measure would maintain $1.3 billion in military aid to Egypt and up to $250 million in economic assistance.

Granger said the bill “protects key national security priorities by fully funding the $3 billion US commitment to Israel and sustaining current diplomatic and development actions in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan.”

“The spending priorities in the bill reflect the fluid and tenuous situation in the Middle East,” Granger said.

“Volatility in the region highlights the importance of reaffirming our strategic partnerships and commitments,” she added. “The events in the Middle East have a direct impact on the safety and security of the United States and our allies.”

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  • gremlin

    Id be happy into an investigation on its roll in the many terror hoaxes the State Dept. has been associated with (ie: underwear bomber).

    Besides that, there is no amount of cuts that will turn this boat around.
    Default and a return to constitutional money is our only option if we are to avoid 3rd world economic status within 10-20 years.

  • Anonymous

    Let me guess: the proposal also mandates INCREASED spending on Blackwater (XE) contracts.

  • Anonymous

    The GOP needs to save money…..
    to buy property far away from the 3rd world USA.

  • Anonymous

    The GOP and associated teabaggers hate the UN as they think it’s the “New World Order” as they interpret the Book of Revelations and their End Times Theories. For more information on the evilness all around us check with Fox News and Glenn Beck.

  • gypski®

    Gotta keep buying friendships around the world while selling out the people at home. Gotta love the GOP. Wrong.

  • Anonymous

    No doubt the State department could trim it’s expenses. They recently purchased a very large ‘embassy’ in Iraq with the amenities of a small town. What about going back to the business of visa’s and negotiating trade deals instead of ‘running’ the world. Though cuts should be made, this is small potatoes.

    Carve up the Defense and intelligence departments most of what they commission is make work and ‘jobs’ for some Senator’s district. The $80B spent on Intel was unable to see an Egyptian freedom march 30 years in the making. Cut by half at least. When was the last time Marines stormed the shores? Keep a brigade and eliminate the rest. Review the other branches for similar cuts. We are paying, insurance, for defense not club dues for a culture to sit on it’s ass.

  • Guest

    It has always been very odd that w give so much money to Israel. As I understand it, the Israelis do not have to account for the money although it is fairly easy to guess what they spend it on: weapons from American armament manufacturers. It’s a “loop-around” to give money back to a GOP and DNC contributor; the weapons guys.

    I have always wondered about is why there is no tough standard for the defense department’s weapons procurement program. If you really want to cut money from the budget, go where the money is. Harry Truman “made his bones” by going after weapons contractors (including Howard Hughes) during and after WWII. Why can’t there be another Truman commission?

    The money that we save in cutting the budget at the State Department is miniscule in comparison to defense. Want to save money? Go where the money is being spent.

  • Guest

    I agree.

    The Iraqi embassy has been in process for years. It was started by Bush and Cheney. I’m not sure that Colin Powell lobbied for a large embassy. And just because they have a large embassy, I think it is very likely that the contractor(s) building the darned thing are the ones making the money; my guess is that it’s a “cost plus” contract that has ballooned to many times its original estimate.

    Just because we spend money on the Department of State doesn’t mean we’re going to have all the information in the world or be able to predict at any time exactly what is going to happen everywhere. Leaders rise up unpredictably and unexpectedly (e.g., Martin Luther King, Lech Walsea, Mahatma Gandhi, Fidel Castro). No matter how much we spend, there will always be a surprise somewhere; it is arrogant and foolish to believe that we can spend our way into omniscience or omnipotence.

  • Lincoln Paradox

    I understand the purpose of foreign aid: to help maintain stability abroad. But wouldn’t now be the time to stop loaning people money? Maybe just for one year? Not only would it help to balance the budget, but it might even make people a little more cognoscente of what American aid does for the rest of the world.

  • Anonymous

    I would be happy if the US actually aided those countries that don’t commit abuses against its people. We all know most of the aid we send to African nations goes right into the hands of the government or the ruling elite. That is obvious by the rampant starvation. I say cut it all until we can ensure that the aid (financial and food) actually gets to where it needs to go. We shouldn’t be giving money to dictators either, that would include Israel and it’s constant need to create mid-east drama. I am sorry, but I don’t mind giving to those less fortunate, I just want to make sure they money I give goes to the people and not to the government.

  • gypski®

    The people propose cuts to the GOP’s contributors and their payback for scamming them into office. That’s the first place to cut besides congressional salaries and staffers salaries and bennies.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_RLZ4TGPXVEIV5X5RMT3DHTSPIU Dopp

    I’ll believe these yahoos are serious about budget-cutting when they take $100B out of the DOD budget, and do all it in one step – not the usual phony game of a billion dollars a year for each of the next hundred years.

  • otherjerseyguy

    Let’s close down the State Department, all overseas military bases, and eliminate all overseas corporate tax loop holes to save $100s of billions. We don’t need no stinking foreign policy.

    Hey, let the UN solve all the problems in the world, we are picking up all our marbles and going home.

  • Anonymous

    They obviously HATE the way things are going in foreign policy: one good thing after the next, with their little sinecure from the Saudis and other Middle Eastern potentates under threat, and the Egyptian army saying the Israeli peace treaty is secure.

    REPUBLICANS MAKE THEIR LIVING FROM THE THREAT OF TERRORISM — of course they would want to undermine real diplomacy any way that they can.

  • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/3ETFGMQ3B7VD4AAMILBBEVMCWE JasonA

    I wonder why none of these corrupt criminal Republicans propose cuts to defense spending? Too many kick backs is the reason.

  • Anonymous

    There should be no cuts to health, safety, and education. Cut funds to foreign governments that are more bribes than aid. If the oligarchy wants to continue what is in reality economic colonialism and corporate feudalism, they should give up their tax cuts and pay for it. 2008 was just a warm up. Middle east upheavals, higher fuel prices, multi-national tax holidays, and SDRs(Special Drawing Rights) will close the economic vise shut on working Americans. Slavery descends on America again, this time with the aid of electronics and computers. Nowhere to run nowhere to hide. The detention camps will be full.

  • Anonymous

    What do foreign countries prefer, we bomb them or we provide them with food and medicine. Let’s just say the Republicans aren’t cutting our military budget. Republicans, once again failing on foreign issues.

  • Anonymous

    Not ONE PENNY should be cut from any domestic programs until ALL foreign aid is discontinued,every member of congress is obligated to take a fifty percent pay cut,they are forced to pay for their own healthcare benefits for themselves AND any and all of their dependents.Now let”s do something about massive cuts to military spending,then we can talk about cutting funds from domestic programs.By the way Social Security is a SELF FUNDED program.Do not touch it you worthless political bastards.

  • Anonymous

    Yes. The new world order doesn’t exist. Nothing to see here. Carry on. Everything is OK


  • ce2756

    Here’s an idea – take the whole hundred billion out of the CIA budget. It will improve national security, reduce the cost of the war on drugs, and we won’t have to watch ’24′ any more.

  • themonk

    Congress and the Republicans needs to take a 75% pay cut and pay freeze for the 10 years OR no pay at all until the budget is balanced.

  • gypski®

    Don’t you mean proxy policing or puppet governments. They dance to our fiddle or they don’t get paid is the way it now is. Buying friendships, not maintaining stability or paying for stability. Look at Egypt.

  • Anonymous

    The five countries that sell the most weapons of mass destruction are the five countries that make up the UN security council (The countries that have veto power). The neocons who make billions selling weapons and war are tired of the competition.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Bob-Zentrails/100001475536421 Bob Zentrails

    They are setting themselves as “soft of Terra”, “soft on drugs,” “soft on EVERYTHING, especially brains.

    It worked so well for the Repubs all those years, it’s about time the DEMs used that against them, which they will in 2012.

    Egypt is not the only country which needs to kick bums out of office.

  • http://twitter.com/Rteefact Rteefact

    Shortly it will be blamed on Obama…as in an unnamed source AP story. They use the same pattern over and over wait for it its coming.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_VGQPF4SAS4BGFLDBZYCATHIVFY Chris Herz

    Just finished re-reading George Kennan’s (designer of the containment policy used against the USSR) autobiography. He points out the fatuous futility of the State Department which is constitutionally unable to formulate a coherant policy other than to support blindly the wishes of the corporations and their congressional lackeys. What was true then is true now. Small loss.
    Now on to the Defense Department and Homeland Stupidity!