White House Demands Deep Cuts to State, UN Funds

It is expected to include a 37 percent budget cut to the State Department, the U.S. Agency for International Development budgets, and other foreign assistance programs, including the United Nations. As his administration leaked details about his budget, including plans to raise defense spending by 10 percent and slash funding for the State Department and foreign aid, Trump pronounced that "Free nations are the best vehicle for expressing the will of the people-and America respects the right of all nations to chart their own path".

FP reported that “U.N. diplomats and foreign dignitaries say they expect the United States to seek to eliminate funding for some agencies unpopular with conservatives — including the U.N. Population Fund, which receives about $35 million a year from the United States for family planning programs, and the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change.”.

On March 9 in NY, U.S. diplomats in a closed-door meeting warned key U.N. members, including wealthy donors from Europe, Japan, and South Korea, to "expect a big financial constraint" on U.S. spending at the United Nations, said one European diplomat.

The White House wants to cut the programs funded out of the State Department's Bureau of International Organization Affairs by half, the USA officials said.

The White House also wants to reduce funding for voluntary assessments and programs for all worldwide organizations. USA officials are confirming that State Department employees have been asked to look for areas where deep, unprecedented cuts can be made.

After "several tough exchanges" with Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney, one official said Tillerson has been granted some flexibility as to where the State Department budget cuts are directed.

The magazine said it confirmed the potential cuts with three sources; one said the administration is considering cutting humanitarian aid programs by 36 percent.

"Currently, the United States has to pay just over 22% of the U.N.'s $2.5 billion administrative budget".

Trump wants to boost military spending by $54 billion and is seeking equivalent cuts in nondefense discretionary programs, according to Reuters.

During his inauguration speech, President Trump said, "From this day forward, it's going to be America First".

  • Larry Hoffman