Saturday, May 25, 2024

Secretary Clinton Complains to Congress about creating Obstacles for US Foreign Policy

On Wednesday, while testifying before Congress, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton complained that domestic political obstinacy was making it difficult for the Administration to proceed with its foreign policy and diplomatic aims in Latin America.  A lack of cooperation between Congress and the White House has led to continuing delays in the appointment process of key positions involved with overseas activities and international assistance.  It has also created confusion among the US’s partners abroad, who are still ambivalent about who represents the United States in their respective countries.

“We’re now more than a year into a new administration and whether you agree or disagree with a particular policy, a president deserves to have the people that he nominates serving him,” Clinton told the Senate Appropriations Committee.

The delays, noted Secretary Clinton, created problematic transitions for important ambassadorial and State Department positions – among those: the ambassador to Brazil and the top diplomat for Western Hemisphere affairs.

“It became harder and harder to explain to countries, particularly countries of significance, why we had nobody in position for them to interact with,” Clinton said.

Clinton said that foreign governments did not fully understand why or how domestic political wrangling could slow these important processes to a near halt.

“People don’t understand the way our system operates, they just don’t get it,” she said. “And their view does color whether the United States … is in a position going forward to demonstrate the kind of unity and strength and effectiveness that I think we have to in this very complex and dangerous world.”

From February 28 to March 5, Secretary Clinton will be traveling throughout Latin America to meet with heads of state.  Among these will be Brazilian president Luiz Inacio Lula and Costa Rica’s first female elected president, Laura Chinchilla.

U.S. Department of State Website – Secretary Clinton Travel to Latin America