It starts: Kerry threatens to cut aid to Israel
It's started. US Secretary of State John FN Kerry has threatened to cut aid to Israel
if sequestration becomes a reality in the United States (Hat Tip: Weasel Zippers
At the beginning of March, across-the-board cuts to all
discretionary spending accounts will go into effect, based on the 2011 Budget
Control Act and the failure of the "supercommittee" to agree upon discretionary
budget cuts in 2012. Congressional appropriators are planning to reorganize
those cuts when the continuing resolution that has been temporarily funding the
government expires at the end of March, a GOP Congressman told The Cable.
Until then, State and USAID are working on how to adjust to
the impending new budget reality and Kerry is warning that the consequences
will be severe.
"Sequestration would force the Department and USAID to make
across-the-board reductions of $2.6 billion to fiscal 2013 funding levels under
the continuing resolution," Kerry wrote in a letter
to Sen. Barbara Milkuski (D-MD) on
Feb. 11. Cuts of this magnitude would seriously impair our ability to execute
our vital missions of national security, diplomacy, and development."
Kerry also said that sequestration would hurt the State
Department's efforts to ramp up security for diplomats abroad. State is still waiting for
Congress to approve State's request to shift an additional $1 billion to
"These cuts would severely impair our efforts to enhance the
security of U.S. government facilities overseas and ensure the safety of the
thousands of U.S. diplomats serving the American people abroad," Kerry wrote.
Here are some specific cuts that Kerry said would be
necessary if sequestration happens:
- $300 million cut from foreign military financing accounts,
which could result in cuts to assistance to Israel, Egypt, and Jordan
Unspecified cuts to international peacekeeping operations,
counter narcotics programs, counterterrorism efforts, and non-proliferation
Kerry also warned that the State Department might not be
able to effectively provide emergency services to Americans in trouble abroad, to
properly vet visa applications, and or issue passports to Americans in a timely
Three things I did not see any intention to cut as a result of sequestration are aid to the 'Palestinians,' the US contribution to the United Nations and its constituent agencies, and funding abortions around the world. Maybe Kerry's priorities need to be reconsidered.
Labels: John Kerry, United Nations, US foreign aid, US State Department