House panel OKs $5.8 billion cut to foreign aid

The cuts were required by a House Republican budget that calls for a 19 percent cut to the State Department budget overall. Lowey said the cuts created a “completely unrealistic starting point” for the subpanel, leading to tough choices that create “winners and losers.”

The State Department says the cuts would be “devastating.” Democrats hope the final spending bill will be closer to the numbers put forward by the Democrat-controlled Senate, which has called for a $44 billion State Department spending bill.

“We’re looking forward to working with Congress on this issue going forward, but that being said, we are very concerned,” State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf said Thursday. “Our concern is that these proposed cuts, which we would consider would be devastating if put into effect, would hurt our ability to stand up for American interests and values around the world. The U.S. can’t lead if we retreat in this way.”

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