5 former State Dept. chiefs press for foreign aid

November 14, 2011 - 3:10 PM

WASHINGTON (AP) — Five former secretaries of State — Republicans and a Democrat — are warning Congress against deep cuts in foreign aid.

In a letter circulated Monday by the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition, the former secretaries said that international spending advances U.S. interests overseas, tackles the causes of conflict and extremism, and shows America's global leadership.

The letter comes as the Senate this week considers a $53.3 billion spending bill for the State Department and foreign operations for the fiscal year that began Oct. 1. Citing the growing U.S. deficit, lawmakers are expected to offer amendments to cut foreign aid.

Signing the letter were Henry Kissinger, George Shultz, Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice, who worked for Republican presidents, and Madeleine Albright, who served in the Clinton administration.