Secretary Of State Tillerson’s Memo To OMB Asking To Restore Some Cuts To State, USAID Signals ‘He Intends To Fight For His Department’s Mission’
Washington Post: Tillerson pushes back on White House’s proposed cuts to State Department and USAID
Josh Rogin, columnist for the Washington Post’s Global Opinions section
“Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is pushing back against the White House’s proposal to drastically slash funding for diplomacy and development, a sign he intends to fight for his department’s mission inside the Trump administration. Tillerson’s formal appeal of the [Office of Management and Budget’s (OMB)] initial budget proposal seeks to restore some of the huge cuts proposed by the White House for State Department and foreign assistance funding, according to an internal State Department memo I obtained. … Multiple State Department officials told me that Tillerson and his senior staff have been talking with heads of various bureaus and offices at the State Department to get a better idea of their top priorities, as part of his effort to shape his position on the budget cuts. ‘Our appeal is focused on increasing the overall topline and will seek to restore cuts made to our core economic and development accounts, security assistance, and humanitarian aid,’ the memo states. ‘We are also asking OMB for more time and flexibility to enable us to determine most bureau and country level allocations at a later date.’ … The bottom line is that funding for diplomacy and development will be the subject of a series of negotiations and will likely fall somewhere between what the White House and Congress each want. Tillerson’s challenge is to navigate between those two power centers and do as much as he can to defend the programs he believes in” (3/3).