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U.S. Lawmakers Rip Trump’s Proposal For Massive State Department Funding Cut

Eliot Engel, the Democratic chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, said that Trump's proposal was "dead" on arrival in Congress. (file photo)

U.S. lawmakers from both parties have ripped President Donald Trump's plan to drastically cut funding for the State Department and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID).

Representative Eliot Engel, Democratic chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, said on March 27 that Trump's proposal was "dead" on arrival in Congress.

"This budget...signals to the world that the Trump foreign policy is one of disengagement," Engel said during the second of two House hearings on the budget.

Hal Rogers, the senior Republican on the House subcommittee that oversees State Department spending, said the proposal slashes the State Department and aid budget by about $11 billion to $40 billion, which he called "woefully inadequate."

"Given what the world looks like right now, this approach seems detached from reality," Rogers said.

In written remarks before appearing before the House, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the budget seeks to double funding for countering increased Chinese aggression and to strengthen systems to target Russia's growing threats to the United States and the West.

"China is proactively applying its power and exerting its influence in the Indo-Pacific region and beyond," Pompeo said.

"This budget prioritizes countering Russian malign influence in Europe, Eurasia, and Central Asia, and further strengthens the Department's own systems against malign actors."

Trump has sought major cuts to the State Department in each of the three budgets he has proposed to Congress during his term.

Congress has ignored the requests.

Based on reporting by Reuters and AP