Kerry: Budget impasse a challenge for US diplomacy - NBC12.com - Richmond, VA News

Kerry: Budget impasse a challenge for US diplomacy

(AP Photo/Charles Dharapak, Pool). Secretary of State John Kerry applauds as President Barack Obama gives his State of the Union address during a joint session of Congress on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday Feb. 12, 2013. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak, Pool). Secretary of State John Kerry applauds as President Barack Obama gives his State of the Union address during a joint session of Congress on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday Feb. 12, 2013.

WASHINGTON (AP) - Secretary of State John Kerry says the greatest challenge to U.S. foreign policy is not emerging China or Middle East instability. It's Congress.

In a speech Wednesday at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, Kerry cited the adage that "we can't be strong in the world unless we are strong at home." He called the budget impasse a threat.

The State Department has said automatic spending cuts would jeopardize $2.6 billion in aid, security assistance and other international programs.

Kerry said legislators need to avoid "senseless cuts."

Otherwise, he said his credibility as a diplomat might be damaged.

Kerry said, "Think about it: It's hard to tell the leadership of any number of countries that they must resolve their economic issues if we don't resolve our own."

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