Republicans balk at Trump plan to slash State Dept budget

Washington (AFP) – Multiple Republican lawmakers on Tuesday warned that President Donald Trump’s reported plan to slash State Department funding by more than a third would face stiff opposition in Congress.

“It’s dead on arrival, it’s not going to happen,” said the hawkish Republican Senator Lindsey Graham, who chairs the Senate appropriations subcommittee on state and foreign operations.

It is imperative that the use of “soft power” continues to be a national security priority, he stressed, saying that if Trump unveils a plan to drastically cut funding for foreign assistance, “Congress will reject it.”

The Wall Street Journal and other US media reported on Tuesday that the Trump administration is proposing to cut the budget of the State Department and US Agency for International Development by 37 percent to help offset the White House’s proposed $54 billion boost in defense spending.

Most of the cuts would target foreign aid programs, the administration has said.

“So we will be…

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