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lawmakers blast Trump's plan for diplomacy, foreign aid cuts


Democrats and Republicans in the U.S. Congress rejected President Donald Trump’s proposed cuts to diplomacy and overseas aid budgets as hazardous to national security on Wednesday, setting the stage for a budget struggle with the White House.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo greets House Appropriations Subcommittee Chairwoman Nita Lowey (D-NY) after testifying at a hearing on the State Department's finances request for 2020 in Washington, D.C., U.S. March 27, 2019. REUTERS/Erin Scott

The ranking Republican on the House of Representatives subcommittee that oversees State Department spending, Hal Rogers, stated he was once “disappointed” after viewing Trump’s budget request, which he said slashes the State Department budget by about $11 billion to $40 billion.

Rogers stated spending on diplomacy and foreign aid was “a central component of our national security.”

Democratic Representative Nita Lowey, who chairs the full Appropriations committee and the subcommittee, also rejected the proposed cuts. “I am astonished that three years into his administration the president still does now not respect the deserves of sustained investments in diplomacy and development,” she said.

In written remarks submitted to the committee, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the proposed budget blanketed diplomatic efforts in trouble spots in Asia, the Americas, Europe and Latin America.

He stated it proposed boosting State Department funding targeted on countering China’s multiplied aggression in Asia and strengthening structures to goal Russia’s developing threats to the United States and Western world.

“China is proactively applying its strength and exerting its influence in the Indo-Pacific place and beyond,” Pompeo said, adding: “This price range prioritizes countering Russian malign have an effect on in Europe, Eurasia, and Central Asia, and further strengthens the Department’s own systems in opposition to malign actors.”

Pompeo said resources would additionally fund efforts to reach an settlement with North Korea on ending its nuclear application and push back against Iran’s activities in Iraq, Yemen and Syria.

“The proposed request will permit us to shield our citizens at domestic and abroad, increase American prosperity and values, and guide our allies and partners overseas,” Pompeo said.

He said the budget also requests new authority to help a democratic transition in Venezuela, such as transferring up to $500 million to foreign help accounts.

Trump’s suggestion calls for spending more U.S. taxpayer money on the army and a U.S.-Mexico border wall, while overhauling social safety-net packages in a finances layout possibly to die in Congress however stay on in his 2020 re-election campaign.

Democratic Representative Lois Frankel called Trump’s budget suggestion “embarrassing and dangerous.”

CTM News | 27th March 2019

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