Trump's price range faces blowback for slashing State Dept. funds

The complete details of President Trump’s price range aren’t even out however, and currently the blowback against the White Property is, in a word, tremendous. Former major military leaders who served on the frontlines and congressional leaders in the...

Trump's price range faces blowback for slashing State Dept. funds

The complete details of President Trump’s price range aren’t even out however, and currently the blowback against the White Property is, in a word, tremendous. Former major military leaders who served on the frontlines and congressional leaders in the...

28 February 2017 Tuesday 19:00
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Trump's price range faces blowback for slashing State Dept. funds

The complete details of President Trump’s price range aren’t even out however, and currently the blowback against the White Property is, in a word, tremendous.

Former major military leaders who served on the frontlines and congressional leaders in the president’s party are all speaking out, trying to stop the administration from slashing funds for foreign aid and American diplomacy.

"It's going nowhere," Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., said of the likelihood that Congress would approve such a price range.

"Probably not," said Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.

The White Residence announced Monday that it wants a ten % raise in military spending, roughly equal to $54 billion, with an equal amount of cuts from the “non-defense” price range -- historic levels not observed because the early Reagan administration.

Executive agencies, such as the State Department, are reviewing the plan now prior to the White Residence submits a final spending budget to Congress by March 16, but there have been reports that the program could include up to a 30 percent cut to the State Department’s spending budget or the elimination of entire divisions, such as the envoys for climate transform and anti-Semitism.

Even though the administration gave no particulars, Mick Mulvaney, director of the Workplace of Management and Budget, mentioned foreign aid would be a top rated priority to reduce.

“The president mentioned we're going to spend much less revenue overseas and commit extra of it here. That's going to be reflected with the quantity we send to the State Department,” Mulvaney stated Monday.

The State Division wouldn’t confirm any numbers, but acting spokesman Mark Toner said in a statement, “The Department is operating with the White House and OMB to assessment its price range priorities ... [and] remains committed to a U.S. foreign policy that advances the safety and prosperity of the American men and women."

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson met with Trump at the White House on Monday, but it remains unclear how challenging the former businessman will push back on proposed cuts. The budget for the State Division and foreign help collectively totaled $50.1 billion final year.

But the White Property proposal drew a sharp response from even Republicans on the Hill.

Sen. Graham blasted the idea, telling reporters it would not stand a likelihood in Congress.

“This budget destroys soft power, it puts our diplomats at threat, and it really is going nowhere,” he said currently. “Clearly they do not have an understanding of how soft power is crucial to winning the war.”

Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., a foreign policy hawk like Graham, tweeted his opposition as properly.

Even the generally reserved Republican leader Mitch McConnell shot down the idea.

"I for 1, just speaking for myself, consider the diplomatic portion of the federal budget is quite vital, and you get results a lot less costly regularly than you do on the defense side," he said. "So, speaking for myself, I’m not in favor of minimizing what we call the 150 account to that extent," employing a Washington term for the international affairs budget.

Over 120 retired senior military leaders also wrote a letter to Congress, urging it to save the State Department’s spending budget out of “our strong conviction that elevating and strengthening diplomacy and improvement alongside defense are vital to maintaining America protected.”

“Many of the crises our nation faces do not have military options alone,” they wrote, highlighting the foreign service’s non-military counter-terror tools and calling for “strong civilian partners in the battle against the drivers of extremism -- lack of chance, insecurity, injustice, and hopelessness.”

They also cited foreign aid’s function in addressing other challenges, from efforts to protect against and contain epidemics like Ebola, to help for fragile but important ally governments or the world’s 21 million refugees.

“Now is not the time to retreat,” wrote the military leaders, such as David Petraeus, the former top commander in Iraq and Afghanistan and CIA director. Most recently, he was viewed as for national safety adviser, meeting with President Trump but ultimately withdrawing his name.

The list also consists of prominent leaders like former National Safety Agency and Cyber Command chief Keith Alexander, former leading Iraq war commander George Casey, former top Afghan war commander John Allen, and former Marine Corps commandants James Conway, Michael Hagee and Charles Krulak.

Pretty much all of the signatories to the letter are not politically involved, but two have been major Trump critics: John Allen, was a vocal Hillary Clinton campaign supporter, and Michael Hayden, who was George W. Bush’s CIA director and was a Never ever Trumper.

ABC News’ Ali Rogin and Luis Martinez contributed to this report.

Our editors found this article on this site using Google and regenerated it for our readers.

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