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

Mississippi Supreme Court Overturns Successful Ballot Initiative
In The States
Mississippi Supreme Court Overturns Successful Ballot Initiative
May 16, 2021
by Dan McCue

JACKSON, Miss. - The Mississippi Supreme Court on Friday overturned a voter-approved ballot initiative to legalize medical marijuana, holding that the election law governing ballot referendums is out of date. The decision, which could halt other citizen-led efforts to amend the state constitution, struck down a... Read More

Ex-University of Pittsburgh Chancellor to Chair Pennsylvania Redistricting Commission
In The States
Ex-University of Pittsburgh Chancellor to Chair Pennsylvania Redistricting Commission
May 16, 2021
by Dan McCue

HARRISBURG — Mark Nordenberg, a former University of Pittsburgh chancellor, will chair the committee in charge of drawing Pennsylvania’s legislative districts, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court announced this week. The appointment means Nordenberg, a former dean of Pitt’s law school, will hold the potentially tie-breaking vote on... Read More

House GOP Elects Trump Defender Stefanik to No. 3 Post
Congress
House GOP Elects Trump Defender Stefanik to No. 3 Post
May 14, 2021
by Dan McCue

WASHINGTON - Republican House members handily elected Rep. Elise Stefanik, of New York, to the number three post in their conference leadership Friday, hoping her elevation will end an intra-party feud between allies of former President Donald Trump and his GOP detractors. With little suspense, Stefanik... Read More

Employee Input Critical for Digital Workplace Success
Employment
Employee Input Critical for Digital Workplace Success
May 14, 2021
by Victoria Turner

The transition to remote work this past year happened a lot more quickly than many expected, which suggests organizations were “already working in a digital environment, we just had not realized it,” said Tatyana Mamut, senior vice president of new products at Pendo yesterday. Companies have... Read More

Is Income-Driven Repayment Contributing to Federal Student Loan Payment Problems?
Think Tanks
Is Income-Driven Repayment Contributing to Federal Student Loan Payment Problems?
May 14, 2021
by Kate Michael

WASHINGTON — Student loan forgiveness has been a topic of conversation as the Biden administration continues to consider proposals for alleviating student loan debt, but in the absence of any news on that front, borrowers are starting to get worried as federal student loan repayment is... Read More

China Irked By US Push for Taiwan Presence at World Health Assembly
Geopolitics
China Irked By US Push for Taiwan Presence at World Health Assembly
May 14, 2021
by Daniel Mollenkamp

Over the last two weeks, China and the U.S. have made dueling comments about whether Taiwan should be admitted to this year's World Health Assembly, the meeting where priorities and policies of the World Health Organization are set, which will be held later this month. U.S.... Read More

News From The Well
scroll top