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Trump says he'll decide on foreign aid cuts within a week

Trump says he'll decide on foreign aid cuts within a week
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President TrumpDonald TrumpSunday shows preview: House GOP removes Cheney from leadership position; CDC issues new guidance for fully vaccinated Americans Navajo Nation president on Arizona's new voting restrictions: An 'assault' on our rights The Memo: Lawmakers on edge after Greene's spat with Ocasio-Cortez MORE said Tuesday that a decision on whether to try to suspend certain foreign aid funds would likely be coming within a week.

"We’re looking at it, and we’re looking at it in different ways," Trump told reporters during a meeting with the Romanian president in the Oval Office. "We’re talking to Republicans and Democrats about it and certain things we could save." 

"We have some things on the table very much, and we’ll let you know over the next probably sooner than a week," he added.

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The White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has been working on a request for a budget process known as "rescission" that would cut $4.3 billion in foreign aid that has already been approved by Congress.

Sending the request to lawmakers could freeze the unobligated funds through the end of the fiscal year on Sept. 30 unless Congress formally overturns the request, a move that could leave limited time for the administration to direct the funds.

Trump on Tuesday also seemed to hint that the scale of the proposed cuts could be smaller than first reported.

"Certain things, it could probably be a pennywise," Trump said. 

Bloomberg and Politico reported earlier Tuesday that Trump was considering limiting the request to cutting a few hundred million dollars following phone conversations with Secretary of State Mike PompeoMike PompeoSunday shows preview: House GOP removes Cheney from leadership position; CDC issues new guidance for fully vaccinated Americans US Olympic Committee urges Congress not to boycott Games in China Pompeo on CIA recruitment: We can't risk national security to appease 'liberal, woke agenda' MORE and Treasury Secretary Steven MnuchinSteven MnuchinDemocrats justified in filibustering GOP, says Schumer Yellen provides signature for paper currency Biden's name will not appear on stimulus checks, White House says MORE.

Whether or not the request is scaled back, the move could complicate talks to fund the government before the end of the fiscal year.

Both Democrats and Republicans have railed against a potential rescission.

"We strongly urge the Administration to refrain from sending a rescission message to the Congress," Rep. John YarmuthJohn Allen YarmuthDemocrats see political winner in tax fight McConnell knocks Kentucky Democrat over support for nixing filibuster Democrats vow to go 'bold' — with or without GOP MORE (D-Ky.) and Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersWarren calls for US to support ceasefire between Israel and Hamas Prominent Muslim group to boycott White House Eid celebration over stance on Israel-Gaza violence Biden speaks with Israel's Netanyahu again amid ramped-up strikes in Gaza MORE (I-Vt.), key members of the House and Senate Budget committees, wrote in a Monday letter to OMB Director Mick MulvaneyMick MulvaneyHeadhunters having hard time finding jobs for former Trump officials: report Trump holdovers are denying Social Security benefits to the hardest working Americans Mulvaney calls Trump's comments on Capitol riot 'manifestly false' MORE.

"However, in the event the Administration submits such a message, it must take measures to ensure that the affected funds will be prudently obligated in the event the Congress does not approve the rescission, as required by law,” they added.

Across the aisle, Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamPro-Trump lawyer Lin Wood causes headache for GOP in key S.C. race GOP governors move to cut unemployment benefits as debate rages over effects Trump critics push new direction for GOP MORE (R-S.C.) and Rep. Hal RogersHarold (Hal) Dallas RogersClyburn fined K for metal detector violation Third House GOP lawmaker issued ,000 metal detector fine The Memo: Hunter Biden and the politics of addiction MORE (R-Ky.) — the top Republicans on the Senate and House Appropriations subcommittees that deal with foreign aid — had similarly strong words.

"At a time when threats from Iran are increasing, ISIS has not been vanquished, the Administration is putting significant pressure on the regime in Venezuela, and aiming to curtail the North Korea nuclear program, the rescission package is particularly concerning," the pair wrote in a letter to Trump last week. 

"A move to rescind funding absent policy input from the Department of State and [United States Agency for International Development] only undermines our national security interests and emboldens our adversaries," they added.

Last year, Congress rejected a broader request by the administration to rescind funds as the fiscal year drew to a close.

Brett Samuels contributed.