Leahy Reaction To The Trump Budget Proposals For The State Department And Foreign Operations

The State Department and USAID budget request for FY19 is a repeat of the simplistic, formulistic approach that was widely repudiated by Congress and the diplomatic and development community in FY18.  Once again there is no fiscal, strategic, or pragmatic justification for these arbitrary cuts.  They were made without any credible analysis of their impact or whether they are in our national interest.  It is divorced from America’s real-world security interests, and it would continue the Trump Administration’s full-on retreat from American global leadership.

In the name of “efficiency” this budget slashes funding for the very operations and programs that support U.S. global leadership and influence on which the security of the American people depends. 

Ratcheting down U.S. engagement in the world is a strange way to make “America First” in a global economy.  Instead, it is a gift to our adversaries and competitors. 

Secretary Tillerson will again have an opportunity to justify the Administration’s cuts, and explain how they advance U.S. interests, when he testifies before the Department of State and Foreign Operations Subcommittee, and we will expect more than the campaign slogans and platitudes we have heard for the last year. 

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