Quotes in Support of the Foreign Service
General James Mattis (now Secretary of Defense)
If you don’t fund the State Department fully, then I need to buy more ammunition, ultimately, I think it’s a cost-benefit ratio. The more that we put into the State Department’s diplomacy, hopefully, the less we have to put into a military budget as we deal with the outcome of an apparent American withdrawal from the international scene.
Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) Passing the Baton, USIP, January 10, 2017
If you want to be peaceful here, if you want to preserve our way of life, you better be involved over there. The only thing I can tell you after 15 years of being at war, we are never going to win this war all of us staying over here. And the best and brightest among us are not just our soldiers, it’s the people in the State Department and the NGOs who go and represent American values without carrying a gun.
I am a pretty hawkish guy but I’ve has the pleasure of seeing our State Department in action, our NGO community in action, and I believe we would be wise to invest in them just as we would be wise to invest in our military.
Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) on the Proposed Budget Cuts in The Washington Post on February 28, 2017
It’s dead on arrival, it’s not going to happen, it would be a disaster. This budget destroys soft power, it puts our diplomats at risk and it’s going nowhere.
Senator Jack Reed (D-R.I.)
We also have to recognize that national security goes beyond Army brigades, Marine regiments, and the number of aircraft carriers at sea. The State Department, Justice Department, Homeland Security, CDC, Treasury and other federal agencies all play indispensable roles in safeguarding our nation, and if the increase in defense spending comes at the cost of domestic priorities, it could make our country less secure in the long run.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.)
Diplomacy is important, extremely important, and I don't think these reductions at the State Department are appropriate because many times diplomacy is a lot more effective — and certainly cheaper — than military engagement.
Minority Members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee
As Secretary of State you will be taking over as the leader of one of the most skilled, loyal, and motivated workforces of any organization on the planet. Our foreign affairs and development professionals are truly among the most dedicated of our public servants, on the front lines safeguarding our nation's security. As Members of the Foreign Relations Committee, we have benefited greatly from their insight and counsel over the years.
Senator Marco Rubio (R-Fla.)
Foreign aid is not charity. We must make sure it is well spent, but it is less than 1% of budget & critical to our national security.
Senator Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and Senator Tim Scott (R-S.C.)
We are uneasy about the potential impact of [this executive order] on our military and our diplomatic personnel abroad, as well as those who put their lives on the line to work with us.
Mac Thornberry (R-Texas), Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee
I very much believe we have to have a wide range of tools to advance our national interests, and that includes tools of the State Department, the intelligence community and the Department of Defense, and others… Can we spend more foreign aid, more effectively? Absolutely. But we can’t look to the military to do everything that needs to be done.
Ted Yoho (R-Fla.), House Foreign Affairs Committee Member
At a time when American leadership is needed more than ever, we must continue to invest in the International affairs budget.
Eliot Engel (D-N.Y.), House Foreign Affairs Committee Ranking Member
If we slash funding for diplomacy and development, we’re telling our service members and the American people, we’ll take our chances down the road – even if that may mean a much steeper cost in terms of American blood and American treasure.
Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.)
Slashing foreign assistance would be foolhardy, weakening our leadership and emboldening our adversaries.
Ed Royce (R-Calif.), House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman
I am very concerned that deep cuts to our diplomacy will hurt efforts to combat terrorism, distribute critical humanitarian aid, and promote opportunities for American workers.