Lawmakers hammer Trump's proposed State Department cuts

Lawmakers hammer Trump's proposed State Department cuts
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo speaks during a news conference on Tuesday, March 26, 2019, at the Department of State in Washington. (AP Photo/Sait Serkan Gurbuz)

WASHINGTON (AP) — Top lawmakers are blasting the Trump administration’s proposal to slash funding for the State Department and the U.S. Agency for International Development.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo (pahm-PAY’-oh) testified Wednesday on Capitol Hill about the plan to cut his agency’s budget by 23 percent. He says difficult choices were made when crafting the 2020 proposal but argues the funding is enough to achieve the administration’s foreign policy goals.

Lawmakers don’t see it that way. Democratic Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Nita Lowey of New York describes the request as “insufficient.” A Republican on the panel, Hal Rogers of Kentucky, says the plan seems “detached from reality” and warns it would make the country less safe.

President Donald Trump’s administration has called for steep cuts to diplomacy three years in a row. Each time, lawmakers have ignored the requests.