Trump Administration Views Foreign Assistance As ‘Transactional’; Congress Likely To Reject White House Budget Proposal, Opinion Piece Says
Washington Post: Congress scorns Trump plan to cut, weaponize foreign aid
Joe Davidson, Washington Post columnist
“Mark Green did his best to put a winning face on a losing proposition. The administrator of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) told Congress about a proposed ‘increase’ in his budget and funding for a program that ‘will allow us to maintain the highest level ever of U.S. humanitarian assistance programming.’ But Democrats and Republicans at Tuesday’s House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing saw right through Green’s masquerade. They can read budgets and they’re aware of the Trump administration’s plans to significantly cut foreign assistance. Congress has ignored larger proposed cuts twice before, a fate that surely awaits the current plan. More than numbers, the budget represents a steady American retreat from global leadership and an attempt to weaponize foreign assistance. … One example of the good [foreign aid] does is in the fight against HIV/AIDS [through the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR)]. … Trump, however, considers foreign aid a transactional exercise. … Trump’s transactional approach … can lead to shortsighted, counterproductive decisions, such as the one to cut assistance to Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras, the Central American countries the administration claims are not doing enough to stop migration. This weaponizes assistance by threatening to withhold it despite the humanitarian need…” (4/12).