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Report: White House Drops Plan to Make Cuts to Foreign Aid Spending

Jeff Brody

The White House decided to cancel its plan to propose a $2B to $4B cut to the budget of the State Department and the U.S. Agency for International Development for the current fiscal year, Government Executive reported Thursday.

Although the White House did not formally present a rescission proposal, Michael Duffey, associate director for national security programs at the Office of Management and Budget, sent a letter to the State Department and USAID in August asking agencies to determine whether there are available unobligated funds from at least a dozen accounts.

The letter also directed agencies to limit spending from those accounts as OMB mulled over a rescission. According to the report, the Trump administration backed down after its plan drew opposition from both sides of the aisle in the Senate and House Foreign Affairs Committees.

“I am pleased that the Trump administration appears to be heeding bipartisan warnings of the potential devastating effects of rescinding congressionally approved foreign assistance,” said Rep. Nita Lowey (D-N.Y.), chair of the House Appropriations Committee. “This illegal proposal would have severely undermined American leadership, and it is good that it has been shelved.”

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