Could Cutting Foreign Aid Be the Budget Deal Breaker?

The Trump administration is looking at cutting billions of dollars in foreign aid in order to achieve a two-year budget agreement. Money needs to be cut in a variety of different areas, particularly to avoid a government shutdown.

Nancy Pelosi has issued a warning to the administration that proposing such a cut from a foreign aid could make it impossible to achieve a budget agreement.

The White House has been exploring a rescissions package, imposing around $4 billion in cuts to International Development and the State Department. Pelosi has issued a letter to Treasury Secretary Stephen Mnuchin that creating such a package could only be approved by Congress. She also assured the secretary that Congress would not be taking any kind of action to approve such a package, requesting the administration reconsider imposing billions of dollars of cuts.

According to Pelosi, the Government Accountability Office states that the rescission package is illegal. It violates the good faith created within the budget negotiations – and Republicans and Democrats worked hard in order to establish a balance within the budget.

The Republicans have already had to make serious concessions in order to have the budget deal approved by Congress. One of the biggest concerns was the federal deficit, particularly with allowing the debt ceiling to be suspended until July 2021.

It seems as though the Democrats don’t care too much about the ceiling as long as they get their way. They are known for overspending – and with so many political contenders for the DNC primaries, their ridiculous ideas cost millions if not billions of dollars. That’s what Democrats are known for – they create wildly outrageous plans that will cost the government significant amounts of money with little to no regard as to where the funding comes from. Therefore, none of the Democrats are focused on the federal deficit.

When the vote finally came to pass over the summer, there were 132 House Republicans and 23 Senate Republicans who voted against the agreement.

However, that’s not what Pelosi is focused on right now. Instead of cutting money, she wants to threaten to take the deal apart entirely. She doesn’t want to see any money cut from foreign aid, and it doesn’t sound like she’s willing to compromise, either. She does have a few Republicans in her corner regarding this, too – including Sen. Lindsey Graham, who sits on the Foreign Relations and Appropriations Committee.

The biggest problem is that Congress has already established the budget. It was approved by both sides. Now, all it needs is the signature of the White House – and they are looking to rescind funding that was included within the appropriations bill.

It is understandable that there is the desire to cancel certain funds within foreign aid. After all, Americans have to be prioritized – and that’s not what’s happening when billions of dollars are being sent to help other parts of the world, including Honduras, Guatemala, and others that are costing us even more money by pushing people at our southern border.

A significant amount of money has been identified as “wasteful spending” – and this is what Trump is looking to put a stop to. According to White House officials, they believe that they hold the authority to cancel funds without receiving congressional approval. Pelosi, however, is warning that they do not.

Pelosi’s letter is identifying that Congress isn’t willing to discuss this at all. However, she is only one part of Congress. Mitch McConnell has not weighed in on what he feels needs to happen regarding the rescission package. Some White House officials have reported that the package will be made public beginning next week. This can cut money to the United Nations as well as peacekeeping funds for the country located in the northern triangle. What’s important to note, too, is that the funds within those accounts are not going to be zeroed out. Certain aspects will still be funded, including global health funding.

Pelosi sounds like she is looking for a fight, getting ready to push against the White House without the full support of Congress. Her warning letter to the Treasury Secretary should have the signature of both the Senate and the House of Representatives if she’s making a stand about Congress. However, as usual, she is acting in a divisive nature and trying to manipulate the situation on her own. She didn’t even bother to check with her good buddy, Chuck Schumer, about how the Senate feels about all of this.

At this point, Pelosi needs to understand that foreign aid needs to be cut in order to balance a budget. If she can’t get both sides of the Congress on board, her threats are empty.

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