Trump targets foreign aid to boost defense spending

President Donald Trump plans to slash foreign aid as he seeks a $54 billion increase in military spending offset by across board cuts to almost every other federal department, according to the Office of Management and Budget.“We’re going to do more with...

Trump targets foreign aid to boost defense spending

President Donald Trump plans to slash foreign aid as he seeks a $54 billion increase in military spending offset by across board cuts to almost every other federal department, according to the Office of Management and Budget.

“We’re going to do more with less,” Trump told governors Monday during a speech at the National Governors Association Meeting in Washington, D.C.

The Office of Management and Budget outlined the new budget goals without providing specifics cuts. But one OMB official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity per White House policy, said the budget will include a large reduction in foreign aid.

“This budget expects the rest of the world to step up in some of the programs this country has been so generous in funding in the past,” one OMB official said.

Foreign aid amounts to less than one percent of spending by the U.S., but officials emphasized that the budget was focused on putting America first.

We’re going to do more with less. President Donald Trump

The officials wouldn’t address specific components of foreign aid, including how programs with military components might be affected. But presumably any aid to countries such as Colombia, Mexico, Egypt and Israel that doesn’t come directly from the Pentagon would be vulnerable.

Trump described his proposal as “a public safety and national security budget.” Trump is expected to release his final budget proposal in March, but he promised to provide more details Tuesday during his joint address to Congress. He emphasized that the U.S. service men and women will have the tools they need to “deter war and, when called upon, to fight in our name.”

“It will include a historic increase in defense spending to rebuild the depleted military of the United States of America at a time we most need it,” Trump said.

Email: fordonez@mcclatchydc.com; Twitter: @francoordonez.

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