Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on July 12 voiced opposition to proposed cuts in the foreign aid budget, arguing that they serve critical economic and foreign policy imperatives, The Washington Post
reported. “The 1 percent of our budget we spend on all diplomacy and development is not what is driving our deficit. Not only can we afford to maintain a strong civilian presence [overseas] — we cannot afford not to,” Clinton said at a meeting of the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition
, which includes AIPAC, business leaders, ex-officials and others advocating for the U.S. international affairs budget. The international affairs budget includes aid to Israel, which plays a key role in ensuring that the Jewish state has the ability to defend itself from external threats.