(PRESS RELEASE) – Representative Eliot L. Engel, Ranking Member of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, today released the following statement:
“President Trump’s assault on American diplomacy and development continues unabated. The international-affairs budget that Congress received today would further hollow out the State Department and USAID. Fortunately, it is Congress—not the President—that has power of the purse, and I urge my colleagues to join me in ensuring that like last year, these draconian cuts are dead on arrival to Capitol Hill.
“Retired generals and diplomats, Fortune 500 CEOs, and faith leaders came together last year to make clear the devastating impact that the Trump cuts would have on our global leadership. Just this morning, 151 retired three and four-star Generals and Admirals came out in strong opposition to slashing the international affairs budget. The bottom line is that these cuts would make us less safe. They are a gift to countries like Russia and China who are already filling the void left by America’s diminishing role in the world.
“I look forward to working with my colleagues in the House of Representatives and Senate on a bipartisan basis to reject President Trump’s cuts to the international affairs budget and put in place a budget that heeds the advice of civilian and military leaders alike by prioritizing diplomacy and development.”
On January 17th, Ranking Member Engel led a letter signed by all Democratic members of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs calling on President Trump to stop his efforts to undermine American diplomacy and development. In the letter, the members expressed strong support for robust international-affairs funding in his 2019 budget request, and urged that he reverse his dangerous course that aimed to slash investments in the State Department, USAID, and related agencies.