Reaction Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Vice Chairman Of The Appropriations Committee, To Reports That President Trump’s Budget Will Include A 37 Percent Cut To State Department Operations And Other Foreign Assistance Programs

“I hope the American people, particularly those who voted for President Trump, will come to understand the likely impacts of the budget cuts he is proposing for 2018.  A President who claims to care about them and who promises to ‘make America great again’ would harm our country and our economy by slashing resources for the very programs that enable the United States to project the leadership on which the physical and economic security of the American people depend.

“The protection of our embassies and diplomats, our ability to build security alliances, our support for efforts to counter violent extremism, narcotics and human trafficking, control the spread of nuclear and biological weapons, and to fight pandemic diseases like Zika and Ebola, are all in great jeopardy. 

“And while trade agreements are politically unpopular these days, our economy cannot grow without foreign consumers with the ability to buy our products.  Programs to improve standards of living overseas and build those markets are now on the chopping block.


“The notion that the U.S. military alone can ensure our security has not only been proven wrong time and again, it is enormously costly and dangerous, as top military commanders are the first to recognize.


“History is filled with examples of when our country led, others followed.  Equally so, when we withdraw, others fill the vacuum, and they often are our adversaries and competitors.


“This is no way to make America great.  It is a way to undermine America’s greatness, shortchange the American people and the vibrancy of our economy and our leadership in the world, and cede the field to others.”


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