Engel Blasts Administration Freeze of Foreign Aid Funding

August 8, 2019 by Dan McCue

The Trump administration’s decision to put a temporary hold on the majority of congressionally approved foreign aid funds, drew a sharp rebuke from the chairman of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs Wednesday.

“This Administration’s contempt for Congress is astounding,” said Representative Eliot Engel, D-N.Y. “When Congress decides how much we spend on foreign assistance, it isn’t a suggestion. It’s the law, backed up by the Constitution.”

In a letter sent to the State Department and the US Agency for International Development on Saturday, the Office of Management and Budget said the funds would be frozen until “three business days after” the agencies provide an accounting of how much remains in specific accounts and how the funds are being spent.

Those funds expire on September 30, the end of the fiscal year.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was in Asia when the letter, addressed to Deputy Secretary of State John Sullivan, was sent. Congress is out of session on its August recess.

The accounts specified in the letter include funding for international organizations, international peacekeeping, international narcotics control and law enforcement, global health, development assistance, foreign military  assistance for Europe, Eurasia and Central Asia.

Based on the responses from the agencies, OMB may propose Congress rescind the appropriated funds, or redirect them.

But Engel is having none of it.

“This dangerous action would undermine global health efforts,” he said. “It would stymie attempts to stop democratic backsliding and deter Russia’s harmful influence. It would devastate our ability to project American values and leadership across the globe. And when American troops are deployed to so many countries around the world, the last thing we should do is cut funding for the diplomats who can keep them from putting their lives on the line.

“President Trump and Secretary Pompeo should follow the law and stop playing politics with our foreign affairs budget,” the representative continued. “If they move ahead with this plan, I’ll use the full power of the Foreign Affairs Committee to reverse their efforts and to demand answers about why this Administration seems determined to ignore the will of Congress and undermine American leadership.”

In The News

Health

Voting

In The News

Rival Companies to Work Together in COVID Fight
Health
Rival Companies to Work Together in COVID Fight
March 2, 2021
by TWN Staff

Pharmceutical giant Merck & Co. will help produce rival Johnson & Johnson’s newly approved coronavirus vaccine in an effort to expand supply more quickly, the White House announcedTuesday. The partnership will help advance the administration's goal of speeding up production of the single-dose vaccine and accelerate... Read More

Judge Holds Off on Approval of TikTok Settlement
Social Media
Judge Holds Off on Approval of TikTok Settlement
March 2, 2021
by Sara Wilkerson

CHICAGO - A federal judge on Tuesday put off approval of a proposed $92 million class-action settlement by the social media app TikTok, wanting to give attorneys at least 21 days to address his questions about the proposal. U.S. District Judge John Lee gave the attorneys... Read More

Supreme Court Appears Likely to Uphold Arizona Voting Restrictions
Supreme Court
Supreme Court Appears Likely to Uphold Arizona Voting Restrictions
March 2, 2021
by Dan McCue

WASHINGTON – All six conservative justices on the Supreme Court appeared inclined Tuesday to support voting restrictions imposed in Arizona that critics say discriminate against racial minorities.  The case, Brnovich v. Democratic National Committee (Consolidated), is one of the most watched of the current Supreme Court... Read More

Texas Ends Statewide Mask Mandate, Opens State 100%
In The States
Texas Ends Statewide Mask Mandate, Opens State 100%
March 2, 2021
by TWN Staff

LUBBOCK, Texas – Texas Gov. Greg Abbott rescinded the state’s face mask mandate Tuesday afternoon, declaring that it’s time for Texans to get back to business.   “Under no circumstance can someone be punished for not wearing a mask,” Abbott said as he was surrounded by local... Read More

Apprenticeships Benefit Individuals and Employers
Employment
Apprenticeships Benefit Individuals and Employers
March 2, 2021
by Victoria Turner

WASHINGTON - The Department of Labor’s apprenticeship programs benefit individuals seeking to master skills while gainfully employed, and provides employers with the talent needed to fill the current workforce shortage, according to two Congressmen yesterday. Apprenticeships differ from paid internships in that they are not temporary,... Read More

Vernon Jordan, Activist, Former Clinton Adviser, Has Died
In The News
Vernon Jordan, Activist, Former Clinton Adviser, Has Died

ATLANTA (AP) — Vernon Jordan, who rose from humble beginnings in the segregated South to become a champion of civil rights before reinventing himself as a Washington insider and corporate influencer, has died, according to a statement from his daughter. He was 85.  Jordan's daughter, Vickee... Read More

News From The Well
scroll top