White House’s focus on cuts to foreign assistance budget is alarming
WASHINGTON — Speaking on a background briefing call this morning, a senior administration official told reporters to expect a “large reduction in foreign aid” in President Trump’s first budget proposal.
In reaction, Tom Hart, ONE’s executive director for North America, said:
“While we certainly expected the Administration to include cuts to State and USAID in its first budget proposal, it’s alarming that the White House appears to be elevating the idea of cuts to foreign assistance, in particular, to help pay for its massive funding increase in military spending.
“It’s also especially ironic. If your goal is to increase our national security, cutting our foreign assistance budget is one of the last things you should do. As Defense Secretary Jim Mattis once said, ‘If you don’t fund the State Department fully, then I need to buy more ammunition.’ Strategic development assistance is not charity — it is security — and it is in the United States’ clear national interest.
“Bombs alone cannot prevent radicalization. Bullets cannot prevent despair from turning into dangerous anger. As our war fighters increasingly turn to development to deter conflicts, the President’s budget appears to be going the wrong direction.”