Washington, DC – Congressman Howard L. Berman, Ranking Democrat on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, released the following statement criticizing the Republican budget proposal for Fiscal Year 2012 that is being marked up today in the House Budget Committee.

“The Republican proposal to slash the international affairs budget by nearly 40% sets a new standard for recklessness and irresponsibility. This shortsighted plan is a slap in the face to our senior military leadership, which has argued time and again that diplomacy and development are key pillars of U.S. national security. Cuts of this magnitude would harm U.S. exports and kill American jobs, force the U.S. to abdicate our moral responsibility to help those most in need, and essentially cede the playing field to China in many parts of Asia, Africa and Latin America. They would also severely curtail U.S. efforts to promote human rights, democracy and free markets -- which will lead to more instability, and ultimately, greater costs for U.S. taxpayers.”