Throughout funding subcommittee has approved a $1.6 billion down

Throughout
President Trump’s campaign, quite a few promises were made. One of these
promises was the building of a wall to divide the United States and Mexico. In
fact the House Homeland Security funding subcommittee has approved a $1.6
billion down payment for this wall along the border (Taylor, 2017) With such
exorbitant costs like this, Trump has proposed cutting almost $17 billion from
foreign aid while House Republicans have proposed a reduction of about $10
billion (Taylor, 2017) Some of these reduction include a “cut to US payments to
the UN by $600 million and cut funding for multilateral organizations that
focus on topics such as climate change and debt relief by more than 60%” (Taylor,
2017). All of these cuts are a product of Trump’s new agenda, which is what “Trump’s
top diplomat says priority should be, US security, prosperity” (Morello, Gearan
2017). What is interesting to consider, especially since these cuts are so
drastic, is that they are actually lower than what President Trump intended
originally. For now, the nondefense spending bills are very difficult to pass
without the help of the Democrats and the Senate sees even more delays than in
Congress. However, health research will see a $1.1 billion increase and a 2%
increase for special education funding (Taylor, 2017).

            Although major cuts are being made by the House, there is
still pushback by members of Congress to not fulfill Trumps cuts in its entirety.
In fact, the 38% cut to humanitarian assistance has caused some fo the greatest
pushback from lawmakers (US Official News, 2017). In these two groups of
lawmakers, those who are in accordance with the major budget cuts and those who
are not, there is an opportunity for change. One lawmaker who is very much in
accordance with Trump’s budget cuts is Tillerson, the Secretary of State, who
believes the main goal of the government and especially State Department should
be in the protection of its own citizens rather than diplomatic efforts. He
also defends these cuts in foreign aid arguing that this does not mean “Trump
is retreating from global leadership” (Morello, Gearan, 2017) Many lawmakers,
such as Sen Lindsey Graham of South Carolina push back and have said, “I
believe this budget request is radial and reckless when it comes to soft power”
(Morello, Gearan, 2017). Others, not on the Hill, are also concerned of the
ramifications of these budget cuts. Gates, a billionaire philanthropist, “fears
foreign cuts may hit Africa’s AIDS fight” (Kahn, 2017). Gates has been at the
forefront of the fight against AIDS in Africa donating a great deal of his own wealth
but also working with the US government in this effort. The goal was that HIV
and AIDS would be eradicated by 2030 but a cut as little as 10% could “lead to
the death of 5.6 million people by 2030” (Kahn 2017).  Gates is staying optimistic especially
considering the alternative as these proposed cuts are cutting almost “$1bn off
US contribution to global HIV and AIDS efforts, including a $222m cut to its
contribution to the Global Fund” (Kahn 2017).  An initiative like this is one of the greatest
examples of the ramifications of Trump’s proposed budget cuts.

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To
address this, Senators and former diplomats are at the forefront urging for a
revamp of strategy for overseas assistance (Wadhams, 2017). This task force,
headed by Republican Senator Todd Young and Democratic Senator Jeanne Shaheen,
proposes giving the “US Agency for International Development a seat on the
White House’s National Security Council” (Wadhams, 2017).  This task force is very much trying to fight
Trump and now Tillerson’s efforts to merge USAID and overall cut of the State Department’s
budget and instead calls for changes that include merging some State Department
functions into USAID (Wadhams, 2017).

Overall,
Trump’s budget cuts on foreign aid are only one major step to increase military
efforts and move towards his protectionist agenda.