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Secretary of State John Kerry on Thursday warned the incoming Trump administration not to cut State Department funding, despite pressures to focus more on domestic spending.

After serving in public life for nearly four decades, I am aware that there are few more reliable – or damaging – applause lines than promising to slash the budgets of the State Department and USAID and ‘spend the money at home,'” Kerry said in an exit memo to President Obama.

“Good applause lines don’t always make good policy,” he warned. “We need to do a better job of making the case for recognizing how the relatively modest investments we make in diplomacy and development now can improve the world and enhance our own security for generations to come.”

“The richest economy in the world cannot be content on putting only one penny on the dollar into this effort,” Kerry said.

Kerry has repeatedly argued that the department he leads serves a critical function and costs just a tiny fraction of total federal spending. He credited Obama with improving how the world sees the U.S. over the last eight years.

“The United States is more secure, more respected, and more engaged in the world than we were when President Obama took office eight years ago,” he said. “We have brought the international community together to confront the most serious challenges we face and to seize the most significant opportunities that will shape our future.”

“I’m not going to say that we’ve solved every problem,” he added. “But I do know that American leadership has a lot to do with the fact that – worldwide – a child born today is more likely than ever before to be born healthy, more likely to be adequately fed, more likely to get the necessary vaccinations, more likely to attend school, and more likely to live a long and prosperous life.”

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