Top GOP chairman warns against Trump budget plan

  • Top GOP chairman warns against Trump budget plan

Top GOP chairman warns against Trump budget plan

Trump only wants to make the mountain bigger.

On Monday, they got even more reason for concern.

The proposed cut to the State Department's diplomatic corps and the foreign aid budget are particularly striking, and likely to include security contractors at diplomatic missions overseas after the GOP criticized Democrats for security at the US facilities in Benghazi, Libya, where four Americans died in a 2012 attack. He noted that more than a quarter of the EPA budget goes toward popular drinking water and clean air grants for states, local communities and tribes that lawmakers from both parties would be reluctant to cut. And based upon the paltry proposal advanced by the Office of Management and Budget, Trump is already planning to renege on one of his principal campaign promises: to rebuild the USA military.

The letter said: "As you and your colleagues address the federal budget for Fiscal Year 2018, we write as retired three and four star flag and general officers from all branches of the armed services to share our strong conviction that elevating and strengthening diplomacy and development alongside defense are critical to keeping America safe".

Republican Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida, a primary rival of Trump, delivered an impassioned speech on the Senate floor in defense of foreign aid. Beneficiaries of American non-military aid include Pakistan and Afghanistan, which are critical to USA anti-terrorism efforts. Asked on Tuesday if the Senate would pass a budget that cuts the State Department budget by a third, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell responded, "probably not". Now is not the time to retreat.

An official familiar with the proposal said Trump's request for the Pentagon included more money for shipbuilding, military aircraft and establishing "a more robust presence in key worldwide waterways and choke points" such as the Strait of Hormuz and South China Sea. The State Department requested more than $50 billion in its 2017 budget.

Indeed, it would appear that the architect of Trump's supposed rebuilding plan is neither Defense Secretary James Mattis nor the Joint Chiefs of Staff, but OMB director Mick Mulvaney.

"This budget expects the rest of the world to step up in some of the programs this country has been so generous in funding in the past", one official said on the call.

"This budget will be a public safety and national security budget", Trump said at a bipartisan gathering of U.S. governors at the White House Monday, vowing substantial increases in defense, law enforcement and infrastructure spending. Broadly defined, the United States spends more than $42 billion annually on assistance for development projects, security and disaster relief, about 1 percent of the total federal budget.

Mark Toner, State's acting spokesman, declined to give specifics about what divisions of his department could be affected. "The department remains committed to a USA foreign policy that advances the security and prosperity of the American people".

But other State officials said they were girding for a fight in Congress and beyond. "No one's gonna stand pat".

Rubio argued that spending on foreign aid is critical to the US economy and national security. That includes the EPA, the National Endowment for the Arts and foreign aid.

"We will seek friendship and goodwill with the nations of the world", Trump said on January 20. Chris Coons, a Democrat from Delaware.

Some at the department hope that Tillerson, the former CEO of ExxonMobil, will be able to exert some influence on Trump. Congress has the final say on spending matters, and there have already been signs of early resistance to the blueprint from Trump's own party.