Chairman Rogers Opening Statement on FY 2012 State and Foreign Operation Appropriations Bill for Subcommittee Markup
"I thank the Chairwoman for yielding, and I congratulate her and Ranking Member Lowey on producing a fiscal year 2012 State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs Appropriations bill. I am pleased that the committee has returned to regular order and that this is the 10th subcommittee markup of the fiscal year 2012 appropriations cycle.
"The fiscal situation confronting our nation is of immediate importance, and hard choices simply can no longer be put off onto our children in the name of political expediency. This bill reflects your commitment, Madam Chairwoman, and that of the whole Committee, to scour each line of the President’s budget in search of responsible savings.
"The bill before us works to put the agencies funded by this bill on a sustainable budget path, while continuing to fund important programs associated with national security. Fully funding the Iraq request will help ensure the hard-fought gains are not lost. The bill fully funds the US-Israel Memorandum of Understanding at over $3 billion. This bill supports our important neighbors in this hemisphere – Colombia, Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean – to help fight drug trafficking and violent crime. With respect to countries that have provided challenges to U.S. diplomacy and foreign policy, funds are only made available after these governments have met tough conditions.
"Where necessary, we have cut funding for ineffective and unproven programs. At this time of monumental deficits and skyrocketing debt, we cannot afford to let taxpayer dollars slip through the cracks. Full funding for the Inspectors General is one of the important steps this bill takes to ensure accountability and oversight. In addition, important provisions are included to restrict funds that go directly to foreign governments, and to address financial management concerns.
"The Chairwoman’s emphasis on supporting national security, reducing spending, and implementing reform is the right approach for addressing our international interests.
"I urge that the subcommittee promptly report this bill to the full Committee."