Trump's budget entails steep cuts for diplomacy, foreign aid

Ryan Zinke will now oversee 70,000 employees

Ryan Zinke will now oversee 70,000 employees

The White House announced Monday that it wants a 10 percent increase in military spending, roughly equal to $54 billion, with an equal amount of cuts from the "non-defense" budget - historic levels not seen since the early Reagan administration.

"We've spent trillions of dollars overseas, while our infrastructure at home has so badly crumbled", Trump said in a speech that largely focused on domestic policy. It's cynical, ignorant, pointless, and makes for great PR. "It would be a disaster", Graham said. "And by the way, doesn't live up to the standards of who we are as a people". We urge you to ensure that resources for the International Affairs Budget keep pace with the growing global threats and opportunities we face. The Department of Defense would get a $54 billion boost. Referring to the section that includes foreign aid, he said, "speaking for myself, I'm not in favor of reducing what we call the 150 Account".

"There is a real question over whether these penny-packet programs did much more than having allowed the Obama administration to claim it was doing something on everything from counter radicalization to women's equality", he told FP. "They're a popular target, but they're very important", he said, according to Reuters. A Republican senator says the proposal is "dead on arrival".

It is imperative that the use of "soft power" continues to be a national security priority, he stressed, saying that if Trump unveils a plan to drastically cut funding for foreign assistance, "Congress will reject it".

Asked if Congress would support such deep State Department cuts, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said, "Probably not". "Foreign assistance reflects our values as a nation and also projects our national interests". "Investing over there even though we have needs here makes us safer", Graham said, noting that the USA didn't walk away from Germany and Japan without helping to rebuild after World War II. When the Trump administration has a budget that basically destroys soft power, it's unnerving to me, because clearly they don't understand how soft power is essential to winning the war.

Democrats Dick Durbin, a Senator from IL and Patrick Leahy of Vermont weighed in as well.

"Even though it's tiny - only 1 percent - the leverage that foreign aid exerts on behalf of USA security interests is incredible", retired Army Lt. Gen. Dan Christman, who signed the letter, told McClatchy.

Democrats on the committee also balked.

The ONE Campaign, an advocacy organization working to end poverty, met with legislators Tuesday to discuss the issue.

Things got freaky during NBC Nightly News on Monday when reporter Hallie Jackson seemed to suggest that President's Donald Trump wealth somehow precluded him from increasing military spending.

"It's also especially ironic". Bullets can not prevent despair from turning into unsafe anger. He believes the proposed 2018 budget plan is going to be a disaster.

While an outline of the budget was released today, the full details are slated to be available on March 14.

Bill O'Keefe, vice president for government relations and advocacy at Catholic Relief Services, said the cuts would impact people around the world who benefit from the United States lifesaving and development assistance.

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