Trump Backs Down on Rescinding $4 Billion in Foreign Aid

The Daily Signal | 8/23/2019 | Staff
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President Donald Trump has opted against a cost-cutting measure to cancel more than $4 billion in budgeted foreign assistance, much of which he previously deemed as wasteful.

The administration earlier this week cited U.S. taxpayer dollars going to projects such as border security in Asia, crop diversity in Bangladesh, solar panels in Central Asia, and family planning in West Africa as projects to be cut.

Move - Spending - Freeze - Programs - Victory

The move to scrap a spending freeze on certain foreign-aid programs appears to be a victory for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., who wrote a letter last week to Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin complaining that the rescissions would “violate the good faith of our budget negotiations.”

The Trump administration initially was set to roll out a “rescissions” plan for the State Department this week. Rescission is the process by which the president can pull back congressionally appropriated—but unspent—money.

President - Congress - Letter - May - Plans

The president initially informed Congress in a letter in May of plans to pull back $15 billion.

“The president has been clear that there is waste and abuse in our foreign assistance, and we need to be wise about where U.S money is going,” a senior administration official said in a statement. “Which is why he asked his administration to look into options to doing just that. It’s clear that there are many on the Hill who aren’t willing to join in curbing wasteful spending.”

Reversal - Squabble - White - House - Chief

The reversal comes after an internal squabble between two fiscal hawks—acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney and acting Office of Management and Budget Director Russ Vought—and two prominent Cabinet members—Mnuchin and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

Mnuchin and Pompeo worried the “cuts” would harm U.S. foreign policy, Politico reported.

Had - Trump - Victory - Spending

Had Trump followed through, it could have been his first victory for reining in spending.

In March 2018, Trump threatened to veto...
(Excerpt) Read more at: The Daily Signal
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