Trump scraps plan to push for foreign aid cut

National
Donald Trump

President Donald Trump walks down the steps of Air Force One at Andrews Air Force Base in Md., Wednesday, Aug. 21, 2019. Trump is returning from Louisville, Ky., where he spoke to the American Veterans (AMVETS) 75th National Convention. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

WASHINGTON (AP) — Facing bipartisan opposition, President Donald Trump has scrapped an effort to cut some $4 billion in foreign aid that lawmakers had already approved.

A senior administration official and a Democratic congressional aide confirmed the decision Thursday. Both spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss internal deliberations.

The potential cut to programs at the State Department and the U.S. Agency for International Development had drawn criticism from Republicans and Democrats.The administration official said it was clear that many on Capitol Hill weren’t willing to join in “curbing wasteful spending.”

Since taking office, the Trump administration has sought each year to slash foreign affairs funding by as much as 30%. Those budget proposals have been soundly rejected by lawmakers from both parties.

The president told reporters Sunday that he backed the cuts saying, “in some cases, these are countries that we should not be giving to.” He also said that foreign aid cuts can lead to talks that improve relationships.

The top members of the House Foreign Affairs and Senate Foreign Relations committees had sent a letter to the White House Office of Management and Budget seeking to head off such a move. They said that cutting “crucial” programs would be detrimental to national security and undercut Congress’s intended use for the money.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said in a statement that the proposed cuts would have been “harmful to our national security” and violated the good-faith negotiations that brought about the bipartisan budget deal.

The U.S. Global Leadership Coalition, a Washington-based nonprofit that advocates for a strong international affairs budget, cheered the decision.

“Americans can be pleased that the administration recognized the importance of these vital foreign assistance programs for keeping America safe and on the global playing field,” said Liz Schrayer, the group’s president and chief executive officer.

___

Associated Press congressional correspondent Lisa Mascaro contributed to this report.

Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Recent Videos

Experts say a child's first visit to an orthodontist should come at age 7

Thumbnail for the video titled "Experts say a child's first visit to an orthodontist should come at age 7"

New medication offers postpartum depression relief

Thumbnail for the video titled "New medication offers postpartum depression relief"

Coach Caught Stealing Money From Players

Thumbnail for the video titled "Coach Caught Stealing Money From Players"

Baby dies in fire after children are left home alone

Thumbnail for the video titled "Baby dies in fire after children are left home alone"

Burk city commissioners vote down the ban of flavored e-cigarettes

Thumbnail for the video titled "Burk city commissioners vote down the ban of flavored e-cigarettes"

What The Tech: new Facebook design

Thumbnail for the video titled "What The Tech: new Facebook design"

Vacant home of James Staley vandalized

Thumbnail for the video titled "Vacant home of James Staley vandalized"

Property flipping brothers to revitalize two properties in Graham

Thumbnail for the video titled "Property flipping brothers to revitalize two properties in Graham"

Flu season is here, public health urges residents to get vaccinated

Thumbnail for the video titled "Flu season is here, public health urges residents to get vaccinated"

Pastor raising money from church roof

Thumbnail for the video titled "Pastor raising money from church roof"

Donny Davis released on bond

Thumbnail for the video titled "Donny Davis released on bond"

Man assaults wife

Thumbnail for the video titled "Man assaults wife"