Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R – KY) today rejected President Trump’s proposed budget for cuts in US foreign aid spending, accusing Trump of trying to “dictate” to Congress on the budget, and insisting that cuts to State Department spending “aren’t appropriate.”
President Trump’s budget envisions broad cuts in a number of government departments, including “dramatic” reductions in foreign aid, with the money going to a substantial increase in military spending. The goal was for the cuts to allow the military spending increase without raising the deficit.
Though there appears to be broad support for increasing military spending, most of the Congressional leadership seems averse to making any cuts to pay for it, with Sen. McConnell insisting that the US should keep funding the State Department because diplomacy is sometimes appropriate and “certainly cheaper than military engagement.”
Absent in the debate about making the spending cuts so far is any suggestion of returning the money to the taxpayers, and McConnell’s argument about diplomacy being “cheaper” appears to be largely irrelevant since it isn’t tied to any proposal to use diplomacy as an alternative to fighting more wars, and McConnell has provided no indication he is averse to the military spending.