- President Donald Trump’s new budget proposal calls for slashing funding for the State Department and the US Agency for International Development by around 25 percent – a drastic cut that stands little chance of making it past skeptical lawmakers on Capitol Hill.
- The budget proposal would reduce State Department funding from around $53.1 billion in fiscal year 2017 to around $39.3 billion dollars, according to Rob Berschinski, a senior vice president for policy at Human Rights First.
- Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said in a statement that the budget is concerned with “Prioritizing the efficient use of taxpayer resources.”
- Combined with the administration’s proposed increase in military spending, the budget vividly illustrates that Trump sees military force – and not diplomacy – as the most effective way of preventing conflicts and advancing America’s national security interests.
- Lawmakers are in charge of putting together the budget before he signs off on it, and experts say that even the most hawkish members of the Senate are unlikely to try to enact most of Trump’s cuts to the State Department and USAID. Last year, Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham, one of the most prominent hawks in the Senate, promised in the run-up to Trump’s last budget proposal that big cuts to the State Department would be “Dead on arrival.” After Trump went ahead and proposed steep cuts, House and Senate committee blatantly rejected them in votes on State Department spending.
- Trump’s budget cuts to the State Department and USAID are very big The Trump budget proposal takes aim at many different programs at the State Department that many defense and diplomacy experts from across the political spectrum consider essential to promoting American interests.
- The budget also proposes a massive blow to the State Department’s funding for educational and cultural exchange programs, chopping it from $634 million to $159 million.