Hillary Clinton Slams Bill Limiting US Aid

Wednesday, 27 Jul 2011 12:22 PM

By Abigail Walls

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Secretary of State Hillary Clinton lambasted a House bill that could limit U.S. aid overseas. She would urge a veto if the legislation reaches President Barack Obama’s desk, Clinton warned in a letter The Washington Post obtained.

The bill, which the Republican-dominated House Foreign Affairs Committee passed last week, is an effort to curb U.S. spending abroad. Although the measure is not expected to pass the Senate, the legislation expresses Republicans’ foreign policy priorities in the 2012 budget battle, according to the Post.

Hillary Clinton, House, bill, US, aid, foreign
Hillary Clinton contends the bill “would be debilitating to my efforts to carry out a considered foreign policy and diplomacy." (Getty Images Photo)
In a letter to committee members Tuesday, Clinton criticized the legislation’s “onerous restrictions,” which she said would cripple U.S. assistance to Egypt, Lebanon, Yemen, and Pakistan. The bill would block aid unless the secretary of state could certify that no members of terrorist organizations, or their sympathizers, were serving in their administrations.

The bill “would be debilitating to my efforts to carry out a considered foreign policy and diplomacy, and to use foreign assistance strategically to that end,” Clinton wrote.

The bill also would curtail the payment of U.S. dues owned to international organizations. This includes a provision that ends U.S. dues payment to the Organization of American States, the hemisphere’s main inter-governmental organization, the Washington Post reports.

Brad Goehner, a spokesman for committee Chairwoman Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, R-Fla., said in reaction to Clinton’s letter: "It's disappointing, particularly given the current debt crisis, that the Obama administration is fighting to keep sending taxpayer money to foreign organizations and governments that undermine U.S. interests."

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