Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Top Republican says Trump's budget plan 'dead on arrival'

Republicans are lining up against President Donald Trump's proposed budget cuts to the State Department, hours before his address to Congress.

Mr Trump's 2018 budget blueprint reportedly includes a 37% spending cut for the State Department and US Agency for International Development (USAID).

He will set out to convince Congress of his proposal in his first address to a joint session on Tuesday night.

But Republican Senator Lindsey Graham said his plan was "dead on arrival".

"It's not going to happen. It would be a disaster. If you take soft power off the table then you're never going to win the war," Senator Graham said.

Soft power is an American term that refers to diplomatic tools such as foreign aid and humanitarian relief. "What's most disturbing about the cut to the State Department's budget is it shows a lack of understanding of what it takes to win the war," Senator Graham continued. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell also said Mr Trump's reported deep cuts to the State Department would "probably not" pass Congress. 

The Republican-controlled Congress must approve any federal spending.'


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