Diaz-Balart Remarks At FY24 Budget Hearing For The Department of the Treasury International Programs

Mar 29, 2023

The Subcommittee on State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs will come to order.

Madam Secretary, welcome back to the House Appropriations Committee.  I know you were here last week before the Financial Services Subcommittee so we appreciate your time with us today and for your service to our country. 

We look forward to your testimony on the Fiscal Year 2024 budget request for the Department of Treasury’s International Programs.

Your department is seeking more than $4 billion in the coming fiscal year for these programs.  This is a substantial increase – 71 percent more than the fiscal year 2023 enacted level. 

Key elements of the request would go towards the multilateral development banks, debt relief, and Treasury’s Office of Technical Assistance.

In addition, the request this year includes new contributions to several multilateral trust funds, a proposed capital increase for the private sector arm of the Inter-American Development Bank, as well as a new loosely defined $50 million fund for emerging priorities.

There are also several proposals relating to the International Monetary Fund that, like many of the new requests, will require action or review by the authorizing committees.

Finally, you are requesting a whopping 416 percent increase in climate funding over fiscal year 2023.  Can you tell us, specifically, how much this funding will slow the increase of global temperatures?

As you know, China accounts for almost a third of all global emissions.  That is more than the United States, Europe, and Japan combined.

I cannot imagine how this extraordinary level of spending can be justified, particularly given China’s rapidly expanding use of coal and its standing as the world’s largest polluter.

On a related note, I’ve heard that the Department has been working toward a package of so-called reforms at the Bank, apparently aimed in part at radically shifting its mission and model to focus even more on climate change.   

At a time when the world is facing increasing geopolitical instability and related shocks to the global economy, it is hard to see how this proposal aligns the Bank with U.S. economic and security priorities. 

Moreover, I am shocked by the Administration’s objections to natural gas projects.  The United States has led the world in reducing emissions because of our use of natural gas.   Blocking resources for natural gas projects at the international financial institutions is beyond short-sighted – it's a gift to China and prevents us from achieving the very objectives the Administration claims it is pursuing.  You cannot measurably reduce emissions unless you embrace natural gas.

Madam Secretary, last week Secretary Blinken testified before the Subcommittee on the State Department’s budget request.  I reminded him that the increases requested by the Biden Administration for the International Affairs budget have been rejected by the President’s own party year-after-year, and that goes for Treasury’s International Programs as well. 

I am concerned that the unrealistic funding proposals put forward again this year will only hurt the reputation of the United States abroad by setting unrealistic expectations—because these increases are simply never going to happen.  It hasn’t happened in the two previous fiscal years and it is certainly not happening this year.

Madam Secretary, I hope you will narrow the focus a bit and identify your top priorities for us today so we can take that under consideration for our fiscal year 2024 appropriations bill.  You understand the fiscal constraints we are facing, so your perspective on what is most important for United States national security within your request would be welcomed. 

Madam Secretary, I know your schedule is particularly demanding these days so I am grateful for your time today.

Unfortunately, our Ranking Member is not able to be here today, so I will yield to Ms. Meng for any opening remarks.