WASHINGTON—Representative Eliot L. Engel, Ranking Member of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, today made the following statement regarding the Trump Administration’s Fiscal Year 2018 budget proposal, which would slash by nearly a third lifesaving investments in American development and diplomacy:
“The President’s cruel and mean-spirited budget proposal is an embarrassment and would be a disaster for the United States at home and abroad. President Trump's America is one that turns its back on our most vulnerable citizens and at the same time abandons our global role as a champion for freedom, democracy, and the rule of law. The Trump foreign policy sidelines diplomacy and development, threatening American leadership; risking American lives; and ceding ground to Russia, China, or whoever else wants to fill the void.
“If President Trump thinks the United States can shrink into a defensive crouch without long-term repercussions, he's sorely mistaken. Crises will continue to erupt. Conflicts will continue to smolder. Diseases will continue to spread. Extremists will continue to preach hatred and violence. And we will still have to confront these challenges even if the Trump plan goes forward; we will just have to deal with them farther down the road—perhaps with military engagement—at far higher cost in terms of American blood and treasure. It would then fall to President Trump to explain to the mothers and fathers of fallen heroes why we didn't do more to prevent the conflict when we could.
“Fortunately, Congress has the power of the purse and I'm confident the Administration's America Last budget will soon slam into a wall of bipartisan opposition. I vow to fight this budget and any other attempts to eviscerate our foreign policy. If the Trump Administration doesn't care about American leadership, then it falls to Congress to step up and do the right thing.”