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Sat Aug 10, 2019, 06:26 PM

Apparent Trump plan to cut foreign aid draws bipartisan fire

Source: Associated Press

Apparent Trump plan to cut foreign aid draws bipartisan fire

By MATTHEW LEE
August 9, 2019

WASHINGTON (AP) — Republican and Democrats in Congress teamed up Friday to oppose what appears to be a Trump administration plan to cut the foreign aid budget.

The administration hasn’t announced whether it plans to seek the cut. But the Office of Management and Budget instructed the State Department and the U.S. Agency for International Development last weekend to freeze unspent money in their budgets. That would be a first step in seeking cuts to funding already approved by Congress.

The amount involved could be as much as $4 billion and includes money appropriated for United Nations peacekeeping, development assistance, global health programs and military training.

The top members of the House Foreign Affairs and Senate Foreign Relations committees sent a letter to the OMB seeking to head off such a move and threatening a response if the administration moves ahead with one. Their letter points out that Congress appropriates the money under the Constitution and the money is “essential” to U.S. global leadership and security.

“Slashing crucial diplomacy and development programming would be detrimental to our national security while also undermining Congress’s intended use for these funds,” said the letter, signed by Sens. James Risch, R-Idaho, and Robert Menendez, D-N.J., and Reps. Eliot Engel, D-N.Y., and Michael McCaul, R-Texas.

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Read more: https://apnews.com/945eb7cd9dda4550a419088b367ac62e

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