WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-Md.), Ranking Member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, released the following statement Tuesday in reaction to the State Department, international organization and foreign assistance funding outlined in the Trump Administration’s Fiscal Year 2018 Budget:
“If a budget is a reflection of values, then what the Trump Administration values is an American retreat from the world that will make the United States less safe and secure. The numbers speak for themselves in the narrow-minded budget released today.”
“What is most perplexing about the Administration’s combined 31.7 percent gutting of international affairs spending is that, from Defense Secretary and former General James Mattis on down, senior military officials consistently speak about how important the State Department and the U.S. Agency for International Development are to their work. This slashing of our foreign operations and assistance makes the world more dangerous for America and Americans, and is a slap in the face to all the American personnel who work every day to keep this country safe and build a better world.”
“America is safer when the United States helps: feed millions of starving people in Africa and the Middle East; Europe defend its democratic institutions from Russian interference; support countries and international organizations caring for vulnerable refugee populations; train farmers and other technical workers; lead the world in fighting climate change and promoting global health; and fund programs to protect human rights and promote democracy. In each of these areas, the Administration takes a penny-wise, pound-foolish approach that will cost lives abroad and endanger Americans here at home.
“As I look at the massive spending cuts for vital national security put forward by the White House, it is impossible to conclude that this is anything but an ‘America alone’ budget – one that, if enacted, will have disastrous effects on our standing in the world. Luckily, the majority of Members of Congress know this budget is dead on arrival. I look forward to working with my like-minded Republican colleagues to make sure nothing remotely close to this budget is enacted.”