POLITICS

In first speech as Secretary of State, Kerry complains about lack of funding for Department

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Politics,Beltway Confidential,Joel Gehrke

Secretary of State John Kerry, during his first speech in his new job, complained that the State Department only receives one percent of the federal budget.

“Unfortunately, the State Department doesn’t have our own Grover Norquist pushing a pledge,” Kerry said today at the University of Virginia, referring to the president of Americans for Tax Reform. “We don’t have our own AARP . . . every time that a tough fiscal choice looms, the easiest place to point fingers is foreign aid.”

Kerry pointed out that “everyone thinks it costs a lot more than it does,” citing a survey showing that Americans believe that the State Department gets 25 percent of the federal budget, but ought to receive 10 percent.

The country’s newest top diplomat said he wishes that Americans would realize they are the “real domestic constituency” for spending overseas because “our investment abroad actually makes them and our nation safer.”

 

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