Washington, DC -- Congressman Howard L. Berman (D-CA), chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, released this statement in response to the Administration’s budget request today:

“With this budget, the Obama Administration will be better able to follow through with its commitment to shore up diplomatic and development efforts, two key components of our national security.  I will work with my colleagues in Congress to see that the foreign affairs budget request is fully funded.

“The tools of diplomacy and development need to be placed in civilian hands; I welcome the Administration’s effort to expand the ranks of our development experts and the diplomatic corps.

“The plan to double foreign assistance by 2015 recognizes the inadequacy of funding in the past while preparing us to meet the challenges of the future.  It is a goal worthy of the long-standing U.S. tradition of robust and enduring work to reduce global poverty and promote broad-based economic growth in developing countries.  And in so doing, we will help improve global stability, which will strengthen our country’s own security in turn.

“And though there are many areas in which this budget plan improves upon our existing foreign affairs resources, I am particularly pleased to see increased resources to help stop the spread of nuclear weapons and for confronting a range of global health challenges, from maternal and child health to HIV/AIDS.”