Pompeo defends Trump's Central America direct aid cuts

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Pompeo defends Trump's Central America direct aid cuts
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo testifies before the Senate Appropriations subcommittee on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, April 9, 2019, about the FY'20 budget. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

WASHINGTON (AP) — Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is defending cuts in direct aid to El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras to Congress.

Pompeo told the Senate Foreign Relations committee Wednesday the situation at the southern border shows that U.S. aid to Central America has been ineffective so far and his department is “endeavoring to change that.”

People from Central America are fleeing north and overwhelming U.S. resources at the border. The chaotic situation contributed to Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen’s resignation Sunday.

The State Department notified Congress in March that it would look to suspend 2017 and 2018 payments to the trio of nations.

President Donald Trump has recently repeated a threat to close the border with Mexico. Trump has never followed through with the threat.