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Menendez Questions Whether Trump Administration Understands, Cares About U.S. Foreign Policy Objectives in Budget Preview

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ), Ranking Member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, released the following statement Monday after the Trump Administration released its Congressional Budget Justification for Fiscal Year 2019:

“Unfortunately, this budget request reflects exactly what we have come to expect from the Trump Administration: an abrogation of American leadership on the world stage. Slashing close to 30 percent of our diplomacy and development budget is woefully ignorant of the U.S.’ role in the world, and cutting 40 percent of our democracy efforts underestimates critical challenges for democratic governance across the world.

“Congress, on a bipartisan basis, roundly and rightly criticized the Trump Administration’s budget last year.  Yet, this Administration sent a near-duplicate of last year’s diplomacy and democracy-slashing budget to Congress.   

 “The president and his aides champion the idea of ‘America First,’ but their budget actually puts America’s national security interests last, not first.  Their budget would take America out of our leadership role in the world and undermine the very diplomatic institutions necessary to resolve the conflicts raging around the world.

“A budget is a true reflection of our values, yet this budget would not keep Americans safe at home or abroad and deserves to be thrown in the trash.

“The Administration should stop wasting the time of Congress and the American people with such narrow-minded, illogical proposals that have been rejected by nonpartisan military and civilian leaders.  I look forward to working with Chairman Corker and bipartisan Senate Appropriators to ensure that the State Department, USAID and the other entities that carry out our foreign policy and keep us safe have the tools they need to do their important work.”