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Posted at 1:54 PM ET, 02/14/2011

Secretary Clinton: House Republican budget cuts will endanger national security

By Felicia Sonmez

Updated: 3:30 p.m.

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said Monday afternoon that the spending levels outlined by House Republicans late last week for the remainder of the fiscal year would endanger the country's national security.

"The scope of the proposed House cuts is massive," Clinton told reporters at a Capitol news conference after attending a luncheon meeting with House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio). "The truth is that cuts of that level will be detrimental to America's national security."

Clinton said that she had a "very productive" meeting with Boehner at which the two discussed a wide range of topics from the continued funding of the federal government to the developments in Egypt. Noting that the funding resolution proposed by House Republicans last week would cut State and USAID funding by 16 percent compared to FY 2010 levels, Clinton said she told Boehner that she was "very clear" about her "deep concerns" about the cuts and what they would mean for the work being done by both departments, particularly regarding the U.S. mission in Iraq and Afghanistan.

"We would be forced to scale back significantly our mission in the frontline states of Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan where we work side-by-side with the American military," Clinton said. "We would also be required to roll back critical health, food security, climate change, border security and trade promotion efforts abroad as well."

Clinton also said that it was "somewhat frustrating" that funding for the work done by State and USAID is not classified as "security" spending despite the national security implications of that work. She added that Boehner acknowledged that Defense Department officials are among the "strongest supporters" of the State Department and USAID.

"Our strongest supporters, as the speaker mentioned to me, are the leaders of our military and our Defense Department; Secretary Gates, Admiral Mullen, General Cartwright and so many others," Clinton said. "Why? Because they understand that if we don't have a robust civilian presence in these frontline states, we cannot make the progress that we are seeking. ... Our colleagues in the Defense Department have been our strongest supporters, and the speaker is well aware of that."

A Boehner spokesperson reiterated House Republicans' commitment to reducing spending and expressed confidence that members of the military and civilians working abroad will have the resources necessary to do their jobs.

"The American people know we're broke -- we're borrowing 41 cents out of every dollar we spend," Boehner spokesperson Michael Steel said. "Right now, we need to stop the Washington spending spree so the economy can grow and the private sector can create more jobs. We have confidence that the soldiers and diplomats serving in harm's way will have the resources they need to protect America."

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) also dismissed the notion that the House Republican plan would endanger national security.

"My position, as far as that funding is concerned, we asked the appropriators to go about trying to identify cuts that we could withstand to bring spending back to '08 levels without jeopardizing our national security," Cantor said at his weekly pen-and-pad briefing.

By Felicia Sonmez  | February 14, 2011; 1:54 PM ET
Categories:  44 The Obama Presidency  
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Next: Budget 2012: Defense Department


Oh Lord: for decades the liberal Dems have dissed our military, wanted a nuclear freeze or unilateral disarmament,wanted more START baloney putting America in a defensive position, kow towed to our enemies: better Red than Dead, the Islamos are 'peace' and other such baloney. The Dems not only are not protecting our foreign allies or our interests, but are not protecting our domestic security , borders, illegal,spies from the Third World coming in and the danger of weapons being sneaked in via ports, et al. And to think Hil is actually more a hawk than her inane boss.

Posted by: phillyfanatic | February 15, 2011 3:32 PM | Report abuse

Clinton also said that it was "somewhat frustrating" that funding for the work done by State and USAID is not classified as "security" spending despite the national security implications of that work.
Now, how much more honest can you be that this?

You can't get your spies into other countries wearing spy uniform and badges! You do it through The Peace Corps, Red Cross, USAID, Christian Missions, Hikers and Reporters, etc!


Posted by: kishorgala | February 14, 2011 6:02 PM | Report abuse

of course she's right..
as we don't patrol our borders ..
we should support the Mexican goverment..
remember it's tough to make ends met as a Border guard on just the Narco bribes..
between the Narcos and us we should be able to keep the border open for illegals & the drugs coming..
come on..think of their children..
as we don't about ours..

Posted by: Rika2 | February 14, 2011 3:57 PM | Report abuse

After reviewing this article the only response I can have is B. S. We all know which side Clinton is on and it's not her husband's.

Posted by: vageorge | February 14, 2011 3:53 PM | Report abuse

Funding/USAid = bribing countries in exchange for peace;
I'm not saying its good or bad, it might cost us a lot more if we don't pay them off, but it sounds like that's what our foreign policy comes down to.

Posted by: ohioan | February 14, 2011 3:36 PM | Report abuse

Democrats campaigned in 2006 and 2008 on cutting the deficit. Then they get in and spend MUCH more.

Funny how the media doesn't call this out.

Posted by: Cryos | February 14, 2011 2:54 PM | Report abuse

We spent over $400,000 to send some military jets over the super bowl and the doom was closed. I sure slept better knowing the super bowl was protected. Anyway you cut it, the jets cost taxpayers $400,000.

Posted by: catclaw | February 14, 2011 2:53 PM | Report abuse

Unfortunately (or fortunately) the climate change scam has been brought to light. If you want to read about the climate change fraud here is a good site that explains why the big gaseous ball in the sky and the elliptical orbit and tilt of the Earth have been causing climate change since the Earth was first formed;

This site is also the one that has been accurately predicting the weather, including the current cold weather in England.

Posted by: Bubbette1 | February 14, 2011 2:48 PM | Report abuse

So it is OK to continue on the course of bankrupting our nation, just so we can continue with our programs of skyrocketing the prices on energy?

Posted by: DL13 | February 14, 2011 2:39 PM | Report abuse

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