ONE urges Congress to stop the White House’s reported rescission proposal

WASHINGTON — The ONE Campaign released the below statement today following reports that the Administration is preparing to cut billions in congressionally authorized foreign aid.

Ian Koski, Senior Director of Communications, North America, for The ONE Campaign:

“We are deeply concerned about reports that the Trump Administration is preparing a rescissions package that could unilaterally cut billions in congressionally authorized and appropriated foreign aid. Unlike the previously proposed rescissions package — which Congress dismissed out of hand — the gimmick the administration is allegedly preparing now appears to be designed to bypass Congress’ Article I spending authority and the will of the American people. Congress has already prevented the President from cutting foreign assistance three times and should do so again if this package is presented.

“We are encouraged that — publicly and privately — lawmakers from both parties have expressed reservations about the idea of a last-minute rescission. We hope that they voice these concerns directly to the President, Director Mulvaney, and White House staff. Congress should do everything in its power to prevent this proposal from taking effect, including, if necessary, passing a resolution to formally dispense with it.”

What lawmakers are saying about the potential cuts:

Senate Appropriations Chairman Richard Shelby (R-AL): “This is probably not, in my judgment, a good time to deal with it, because we’re trying, in a bipartisan way, to do something that hasn’t been done in 25 years — to make the Senate work, not to divide it.” (Politico)

Senate Foreign Relations Chairman Bob Corker (R-TN): “I don’t know how they can do that legally, but we certainly look forward to seeing how to counter that, if that’s the case.” (Reuters)

Senate Foreign Relations Ranking Member Bob Menendez (D-NJ): “Today it’s about foreign aid. Tomorrow it could be about defense, or health care or anything else they care about.” (Politico)

Senator Tim Kaine (D-VA): “We did a budget deal, and he chose not to veto it, so we gotta be spending that money. I don’t think we can do line-item vetoes, and I don’t think he can take away our appropriations power.” (Politico)

Senator Chris Coons (D-DE): “The president — from the proposal of his budget to the current moment — continues to make efforts to defund or significantly undermine the work of our State Department and USAID. Fortunately, on a bipartisan basis, we’ve consistently rejected those cuts. I view this rescission strategy as just another way to make harmful cuts to our work around the world.” (Roll Call)