McConnell: Trump's State Dept. cuts 'probably' can't pass Senate

McConnell: Trump's State Dept. cuts 'probably' can't pass Senate
© Victoria Sarno Jordan

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellThe Hill's 12:30 Report: Trump, Dems eye next stage in Mueller fight House Oversight Dem wants Trump to release taxes and 'get it over with' Senate rejection of Green New Deal won't slow Americans' desire for climate action MORE (R-Ky.) said Tuesday that a budget that slashes State Department funding likely wouldn't clear the Senate.

Asked if a budget that cuts the agency’s funding by roughly a third could pass the upper chamber, McConnell told reporters "probably not."

"When we get to funding the government, obviously it will be done on a bipartisan basis," he said. 

The Wall Street Journal reported that the Trump administration’s budget would cut the State Department and the U.S. Agency for International Development by roughly 37 percent.  

ADVERTISEMENT

Stressing that he was speaking for himself and not the caucus, McConnell added that the "diplomatic portion of the federal budget is very important."

"I'm not in favor of cutting what we call the 150 account by that amount," he said. 

The 150 account includes international affairs funding. 

Trump's first budget is coming under fire from several GOP lawmakers.

Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamConservation remains a core conservative principle Graham: McCain 'acted appropriately' by handing Steele dossier to FBI The Hill's 12:30 Report: Trump, Dems eye next stage in Mueller fight MORE (R-S.C.) told NBC News that it was "dead on arrival." Meanwhile, Sen. John McCainJohn Sidney McCainGraham: McCain 'acted appropriately' by handing Steele dossier to FBI What should Democrats do next, after Mueller's report? Tom Daschle: McCain was a model to be emulated, not criticized MORE (R-Ariz.) has knocked it over its level of defense spending.