The Trump Administration has reportedly abandoned a plan to cut $3.5 billion from the State Department and USAID allocated for foreign aid, after an outcry by a number of Congressional leaders.
The $3.5 billion was said to be “unnecessary,” and the administration had intended to return it to the treasury by year’s end. A number of senators opposed the idea, though some said they weren’t clear what legal options they had to stop it.
The Office of Management and Budget told the Senate on Tuesday that they don’t intend to go forward with the plan, though there has been no elaboration from the administration on exactly how the decision was made.
Since the initial announcement, the US withdrew $300 million from aid funding earmarked for Syria, and another $200 million for the Palestinians. In both of those cases, the funding was said to be moved into general State Department funds to spent elsewhere. This may be considered distinct from the $3.5 billion, where the money wasn’t intended to be re-spent at all.