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U.S. President Trump’s 2018 Budget Blueprint Facing Opposition Over Proposed Cuts To Diplomacy, Foreign Assistance Under State Department, USAID

Agence France-Presse: Trump hits State Department in ‘hard power’ budget blueprint
“President Donald Trump proposed drastic cuts in spending on the arts, science, foreign aid and environmental protection Thursday, in a military-dominated budget blueprint that has already met fierce Congressional opposition…” (Beatty, 3/16).

Devex: Digging deep: How Trump’s budget affects everything from local jobs to foreign stability
“…The budget proposes steep cuts that have been described by congressional and NGO leaders as ‘narrow-minded,’ ‘small-hearted’ and ‘disastrous,’ although it is unlikely to be approved by Congress without significant changes. While the final budget will likely look quite different, many note that this blueprint provides a glimpse into how the Trump administration views foreign aid. The short answer is: with great skepticism…” (Saldinger/Igoe, 3/17).

The Guardian: Trump’s funding cuts to diplomacy and aid would mark retreat from soft power
“…But the rollback of diplomatic, international aid, and domestic programs is likely to face stiff opposition in the U.S. Congress. Lawmakers in Washington from both parties have declared several components of the budget to be non-starters. Mitch McConnell, the Republican Senate majority leader, told reporters last month his chamber would not pass a budget with steep cuts to the State Department and USAID…” (Siddiqui/Quinn, 3/16).

New York Times: A Shift From ‘Soft Power’ Diplomacy in Cuts to the State Dept.
“…Among the nations of the world, only Israel is guaranteed under the budget to keep its level of assistance, which at $3.1 billion a year is far more than goes to any other country. The Trump budget also proposes protecting programs that buy and distribute drugs fighting HIV/AIDS and malaria…” (Harris, 3/16).

Vox: Donald Trump’s first budget outline, explained
“…The budget will not pass in full, and provisions are already provoking political backlash on Capitol Hill. It will be up to Congress to actually implement spending policy; Trump can only offer suggestions. But the document is revealing and important nonetheless. It gives a clear signal of the administration’s priorities on agency spending, and signals that it will support any efforts by Congress to crack down on international programs, environmental protection, and anti-poverty programs…” (Matthews, 3/16).

Wall Street Journal: Trump Seeks Major Cut to State Dept., USAID
“… ‘We are going to be undertaking a very comprehensive examination of how programs are executed, a very comprehensive examination of how we are structured, and I’m confident that with the input of the men and women of the State Department, we are going to construct a way forward that allows us to be much more effective, much more efficient, and be able to do a lot with fewer dollars,’ [Secretary of State Rex] Tillerson said. The secretary of state said in a letter to State Department employees that the budget request is ‘an acknowledgment that development needs are a global challenge to be met not just by contributions from the United States, but through greater partnership with and contributions from our allies and others’…” (Schwartz/McKay, 3/16).

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