The Washington Times - February 26, 2009, 06:18PM

The chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Rep. Howard L. Berman, praised President Obama’s 2010 State Department budget request, which at $51.7 billion represents an increase of 9.5 percent compared to 2009.

“I strongly endorse the administration’s plan to boost funding for foreign affairs. Today’s budget outline is refreshingly transparent, dispensing with the fiction of ‘emergency’ supplemental requests that were previously a routine practice. Failing to include such supplemental requests in budget projections of the past only served to obscure the real extent of annual spending. This budget keeps the State Department on track with the tools and people needed to advance American interests,” Mr. Berman, California Democrat, said in a statement.

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“The new budget provides funding for a wide range of programs that are vital to protecting U.S. national security and promoting global stability through our civilian foreign affairs agencies.  With this increased support, the State Department and USAID will be able to address fundamental shortages in resources and personnel that are impairing our country’s ability to carry out the diplomacy and development pillars of our national security strategy,” he said.