Apr 26, 2017

Details leak of Trump's plans to slash foreign aid

Alex Brandon / AP

Foreign Policy magazine got its hands on a 15-page State Department document that provides the most detail we've seen so far on President Trump's plans to gut America's foreign aid budget.

Why this matters: Trump is fundamentally reorienting American power. As Budget Director Mick Mulvaney has made clear, this administration believes in "hard power" more than "soft power." That means boosting the military at the expense of more subtle forms of influence through foreign aid and American missions overseas.

Reality check: Foreign Policy dramatically titles its story, "The End of Foreign Aid As We Know It" — and indeed that would be the case if this budget document ever became law. The reality is it won't, not even close. Republican Senator Lindsey Graham, a foreign policy hawk, has already declared it "dead on arrival."

Highlights from Foreign Policy's reporting from the leaked document, which you can read in full here, and from FP's sources at USAID:

  1. "Acting USAID Administrator Wade Warren told employees at a recent staff meeting that administration officials are considering folding the agency into the State Department as part of a review mandated by President Trump's March 13 executive order on streamlining the executive branch, according to a source within USAID."
  2. "Global health funding is also targeted, with 41 countries facing cuts."
  3. "The Bureau for Food Security is slated to lose 68 percent of its funding. This would reduce development aid geared toward preventing food shortages and may instead force the United States and other donor countries to spend more resources on emergency food assistance."
  4. "The budget would enact a sweeping 94.5 percent cut in funding for the State Department's Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs, the roughly $1 billion the U.S. draws on for contributions to the Green Climate Fund, which is dedicated to curbing carbon emissions."
  5. "The budget zeroes out funds for development assistance, which funds 77 countries and regional offices, and redirects much of the remaining funds to the economic support fund..."
  6. "USAID...anticipates that the budget proposal will necessitate eliminating 30 to 35 of its field missions while cutting its regional bureaus by roughly 65 percent. USAID currently operates in about 100 countries."

Response from State Department to Axios' questions about the FP article: "While more details will be available in the full budget release later this spring, we intend to make the best use of U.S. taxpayer dollars by eliminating programs and prioritizing resources that most advance America's interests."

Go deeper

Pompeo tells Congress Hong Kong is no longer autonomous from China

Photo: Nicholas Kamm/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in a statement Wednesday that he has certified to Congress that Hong Kong is no longer autonomous from China and does not warrant special treatment under U.S. law.

Why it matters: Revoking Hong Kong's special status would hasten its economic and financial decline, already set in motion by China's growing political grip on the city. The preferential status that the U.S. has long granted Hong Kong has made the city a top U.S. trading partner.

Go deeper (2 min. read)ArrowUpdated 11 mins ago - World

Podcast: Trump vs. Twitter ... vs. Trump

Twitter came under fire on Tuesday for allowing President Trump to tweet conspiracy theories about Joe Scarborough and the 2001 death of one of his staffers, despite the objections of the staffer's family. The company came under further fire from Trump himself for fact-checking two of his tweets about mail-in voting.

Dan and the New York Times' Kara Swisher dig into Trump’s use of the platform and Twitter’s steps — and missteps — in handling it.

Go deeper: Trump has turned Big Tech's speech rules into a political football

38 mins ago - Technology

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 11:30 a.m. ET: 5,618,829 — Total deaths: 351,146 — Total recoveries — 2,311,404Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 11:30 a.m. ET: 1,681,793 — Total deaths: 98,933 — Total recoveries: 384,902 — Total tested: 14,907,041Map.
  3. Public health: Fauci says data is "really quite evident" against hydroxychloroquine — Nearly half of Americans say someone in their household has delayed medical care.
  4. Tech: Zipline drones deliver masks to hospitals; vaccines could be next
  5. Business: Boeing to lay off 6,770 more U.S. employees.
  6. 🏒Sports: NHL unveils 24-team playoff plan to return from hiatus.
  7. What should I do? When you can be around others after contracting the coronavirus — Traveling, asthma, dishes, disinfectants and being contagiousMasks, lending books and self-isolatingExercise, laundry, what counts as soap — Pets, moving and personal healthAnswers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingHow to minimize your risk.
  8. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it, the right mask to wear.

Subscribe to Mike Allen's Axios AM to follow our coronavirus coverage each morning from your inbox.

Updated 42 mins ago - Politics & Policy