Trump Decides Not to Cut $4.3B in Foreign Aid to Protect National Security, Prevent Another Government Shutdown

  • President Trump has decided not to proceed with a plan that would’ve cut more than $4 billion in foreign aid “that was allocated in the latest congressional budget deal.”
  • According to reports, “the Office of Management and Budget was expected to release a package this week calling for cuts in $4.3 billion in foreign aid through a process known as rescission.”
  • However, a senior administration official said the plan was scrapped due to push back from some Congress members, as well as top administration officials, “but the fiscal hawks in Trump’s corner, failing again to sell him on spending restraint, blamed Congress for souring him on the idea.”
  • The anonymous official said: “The president has been clear that there is fat in our foreign assistance and we need to be wise about where U.S. money is going, which is why he asked the administration to look into options to doing just that. It’s clear that there are those on the Hill who aren’t willing to join in curbing wasteful spending.”
  • Over the past two weeks, “Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and several GOP lawmakers warned Trump that the move would be detrimental to national security and to bipartisan negotiations ahead of another shutdown deadline.”
  • On the other end, “the president’s acting budget director, Russ Vought, and acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney had both pushed Trump to pursue the plan.”
  • Pompeo has been praised by foreign aid advocates and described “as a gutsy crusader against both fiscal hawks and progressive Democrats seeking to politicize foreign assistance.”
  • In a statement, Liz Schrayer, head of U.S. Global Leadership Coalition, said: “A huge shout-out to Secretary Pompeo who — for the second summer in a row — brought his swagger and fought for his department alongside strong bipartisan leadership in Congress.”
  • If the aid had been cut, it “would have been Trump’s first big show of fiscal restraint since signing a budget deal into law this month that increases spending limits by about $50 billion over current funding in each of the next two fiscal years.”

Reference Links

  • The Hill: White House won’t move forward with billions in foreign aid cuts READ
  • Politico: Trump kills plan to cut billions in foreign aid READ
  • Reuters: Trump drops bid to slash foreign aid after Congress objects READ
  • ABC: White House backs off plan for multi-billion dollar cut to US foreign assistance READ

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