(photo credit: JPOST STAFF)
US President Donald Trump's proposal to slash funding for the State Department and foreign aid faces stiff opposition in Congress, which must pass any spending plan, not just from Democrats, but also from many of his fellow Republicans.
Trump administration officials said on Monday they sought to increase Pentagon spending and offset that with sharp cuts in other areas. One official familiar with discussions about the State Department budget said the agency could see spending cut by as much as 30 percent.
Other officials have speculated that the total cut in the combined budgets of the State Department and the Agency for International Development could be as great as 37 percent.
"I am very concerned by reports of deep cuts that could damage efforts to combat terrorism, save lives and create opportunities for American workers," said US Representative Ed Royce, the Republican chairman of the House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee.
Royce said his panel would "thoroughly review" the budget request when Trump sends it to Congress.
The United States spends just over $50 billion annually on the State Department and foreign assistance, compared with $600 billion or more each year on the Pentagon.