(CNSNews.com) – The incoming Republican chairwoman of the U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee on Wednesday identified
“I plan on using
The Florida Republican also has her sights set on the administration’s budgets for the State Department and foreign aid.
“There is much fat in these budgets, which makes some cuts obvious,” she said. “Others will be more difficult but necessary to improve the efficiency of
“We must shift our foreign aid focus from failed strategies rooted in an archaic post-WWII approach that, in some instances, perpetuates corrupt governments, to one that reflects current realities and challenges and empowers grassroots and civil society.”
Asked about Ros-Lehtinen’s comments on cutting the State Department and foreign aid budgets, State Department spokesman Philip Crowley said the administration recognized that “as we go forward, budgets are going to be tighter and tighter,” citing more scrutiny and a “very difficult economic environment.”
Under a new policy, the State Department plans to assume more responsibility for
“A great deal of our funding is focused on frontline states such as
“We think we have the right strategies,”
In her role as ranking minority member of the Foreign Affairs Committee since 2007, Ros-Lehtinen has been a vocal critic of repressive and corrupt regimes, with
She is an outspoken supporter of
“My worldview is clear,” she said Wednesday. “Isolate and hold our enemies accountable, while supporting and strengthening our allies. I support strong sanctions and other penalties against those who aid violent extremists, brutalize their own people, and have time and time again rejected calls to behave as responsible nations. Rogue regimes never respond to anything less than hardball.”
Illustrating the scale of the change in tone expected from the Republican-controlled Congress when it comes to the U.N., Ros-Lehtinen earned a “C” rating this year from an advocacy group that promotes
The 2010 congressional report card compiled by the political action committee of Citizens for Global Solutions (CGS) gave its lowest possible grade – an “F” – to Rep. Kay Granger (
Granger will replace Rep. Nita Lowey (D-N.Y.), who earned an “A” in the CGS evaluation.
Human Rights Council ‘discredited’
President Obama came to office pledging a “new era of engagement” with the U.N., characterizing the policy as a significant turnaround from his predecessor’s approach.
Among the accomplishments highlighted by the administration since then are the payment of hundreds of millions of dollars in arrears accumulated between 2005 and 2008, and its decision to support and become a member of the U.N.’s Human Rights Council (HRC).
The Bush administration steered clear of the HRC, citing the presence on the Geneva-based body of countries with poor rights records as well as its repeated targeting of
Obama reversed the policy last year, saying that while the HRC was flawed the
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and
Critics say the
Ros-Lehtinen, who has described the HRC as an asylum run by the inmates, gave notice in her remarks Wednesday that the council was a priority for her, saying that she would “not hesitate to call for withdrawal of
In the outgoing Congress, Ros-Lehtinen authored a bill whose provisions included placing restrictions on
Her U.N. Transparency, Accountability and Reform Act (H.R. 557) received the support of 106 co-sponsors, all Republicans.