State Department Faces 37% Trump Funding Cut as Senators Resist

Matthew Hunt
March 5, 2017

Schumer, and likely other Democrats, is going to focus on the economic impact those cuts - if they are even passed - would have on red-state, working-class people to whom Trump has promised so much. "The department remains committed to a USA foreign policy that advances the security and prosperity of the American people", Toner said in a statement.While there may be places where savings can be made, those should be diverted to the greatest refugee crisis since World War II and imminent famines that threaten Yemen, Sudan, Somalia and Nigeria, O'Keefe said. Unfortunately, it's not in Donald Trump's interest to help Americans this way.

This week, the Trump Administration said it would ask Congress for big increases in defense spending which it would finance by slashing some domestic programs. "We must make sure it is well spent, but it is less than 1% of budget & critical to our national security", he said on Twitter.

An official familiar with the proposal said Trump's request for the Pentagon included more money for shipbuilding, military aircraft and establishing "a more robust presence in key global waterways and choke points" such as the Strait of Hormuz and South China Sea.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., who once headed the panel responsible for the foreign aid budget, stressed the need for robust spending as word circulated on Capitol Hill about the GOP president's proposal. Currently, it appeared the Trump administration would reduce the State Department and Environmental Protection Agency's budgets, transferring those funds over to a military that has ranked among the best-funded in the world for decades.

Senator Lindsey Graham, a Republican from SC, said that the budget would not pass, calling it a "disaster" and saying "it's dead on arrival".

"I'm very much opposed", McCain told reporters when asked for his view of proposed State Department and aid cuts.

"This budget destroys soft power, it puts our diplomats at risk and it's going nowhere. They're a popular target, but they're very important", he said, according to Reuters.

According to Trump, the proposal was made to "rebuild the depleted military".

Trump can not help the people he said he'd help with the budget he is circulating.

The proposed cut to the State Department's diplomatic corps and the foreign aid budget are particularly striking, and likely to include security contractors at diplomatic missions overseas after the GOP criticized Democrats for security at the USA facilities in Benghazi, Libya, where four Americans died in a 2012 attack.

Durbin retweeted Rubio adding "Republicans and Democrats agree: cutting America's foreign aid cuts America's national security", and Leahy said that foreign assistance is a bipartisan issue that "advances USA interests and values".

Describing the president's request for defense discretionary spending, but without any programmatic details, Mulvaney said the request would be $603 billion for fiscal 2018.

Trump may be navigating between a new budget director who has a reputation as a deficit hawk and key House and Senate Republicans who want bigger investments at the Pentagon. Bullets can not prevent despair from turning into unsafe anger. Would the American people rather go to war than improve the future of our children? "The Administration's proposal [to] cut spending for the meek and vulnerable is a disgrace to our American values", Kripke said in the statement. "Congress must urgently fight to protect these vital programs from cuts".

Other reports by Ligue1talk

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