In his first major address to Congress, President Trump will deliver a prime-time "message to the world" Tuesday night by proposing a robust military buildup and corresponding cuts in foreign aid, State Department operations and domestic programs.
Republican Senator Marco Rubio from Florida, gave a almost 20 minute speech on the floor of the Senate detailing his support for foreign aid and its importance both to the USA economy and to national security.
Trump should learn that global cooperation is even more important than military power for responding effectively to security threats transcending national borders.
Federal non-defense contractors may have to absorb a $15.4 billion cut next year if President Donald Trump pays for his planned surge in defense spending by cutting funding to other discretionary programs, according to Bloomberg Government analysis.
Executive agencies, including the State Department, are reviewing the plan now before the White House submits a final budget to Congress by March 16, but there have been reports that the plan could include up to a 30 percent cut to the State Department's budget or the elimination of whole divisions, such as the envoys for climate change and anti-Semitism. Several leading lawmakers said diplomacy and foreign aid, often called "soft power", ensure national security in tandem with military forces and weapons.
"In a business, he can say, "You're fired" to people who don't cooperate", said Joe White of Case Western Reserve University, who has been studying the budget process for decades. For one, members of Congress, who have to pass the budget, are not Trump's employees.
And Republican Senator Johnny Isakson from Georgia tweeted that "Soft power helps us achieve diplomatic goals of promoting democracy & high standards worldwide".
"Foreign Aid is not charity". The EPA ($8.2 billion) along with the State Department and US AID ($50.6 billion) also account for a relatively small amount of federal spending, but slashes to their budgets could gut their functions.
Oxfam America also put out a statement from Gawain Kripke, the organization's America policy director, calling the proposed cuts "unconscionable" in a world with the most displaced people since World War II and many countries facing the threat of starvation. "If America decides to withdraw from the world, if America decides to step back ... what will replace it?"
Bill O'Keefe, vice president for government relations and advocacy at Catholic Relief Services, said the cuts would impact people around the world who benefit from the United States lifesaving and development assistance. It appears that Trump's intention is to increase base defense spending by $54 billion rather than use OCO funding.
The chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen, a Republican from New Jersey, also spoke out about the issue. "Maybe some people don't like those agencies, but it's been pretty hard for them to meet their mandate".
Gallup noted that the percentage of Americans saying the US spends too little on defense topping the percentage that say it spends too much has happened somewhat infrequently since 1969. Jerry Moran, R-Kan. But amending the sequester may require 60 votes in the Senate, and hence bipartisan co-operation. That works to the advantage of more pragmatic Republicans. John McCain (R-Ariz.) as well as Sen.