Former Secretary of State and Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton said President Donald Trump is making a “grave mistake” to cut funding for the U.S. Department of State.
“I’m also here to say we are seeing signals of a shift that should alarm us all,” Clinton said in remarks made Friday at Georgetown University. “This administration’s proposed cuts to international health, development, and diplomacy would be a blow to women and children and a grave mistake for our country.
Clinton, who was on campus to present the annual Hillary Rodham Clinton Awards for Advancing Women in Peace and Security to four Columbians who brokered a peace agreement between the government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Columbia, or FARC, cited a letter from retired military leadership supporting diplomacy funding.
She also quoted Trump’s Secretary of Defense James Mattis, who in 2013 said cutting funding for the State Department could lead to armed conflict.
“Defense Secretary Mattis said it well when he said if you cut funds to the State Department, that means he has to buy more ammunition,” Clinton said.
Trump’s proposed budget for fiscal year 2018 calls for a 37 percent cut in the current $50 billion annual funding for the agency.
Clinton, who launched the U.S. National Action Plan on Women, Peace and Security at Georgetown in December 2011, gave the awards to a man and three women:
- Humberto De la Calle, lead negotiator for the Colombian government and former vice president of Colombia
- Maria Paulina Riveros, one of [the] highest ranking members of the Colombian negotiating team, co-chair of the Gender Sub-Commission, and deputy attorney general of Colombia
- Elena Ambrosi, thematic director of the Office of the High Commissioner for Peace and a key member of the Colombian government’s negotiating team in Havana
- Jineth Bedoya, a journalist and advocate for victims of sexual violence