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 John TrumpTrump's newest Russia adviser, Andrew Peek, leaves post: report Hawley expects McConnell's final impeachment resolution to give White House defense ability to motion to dismiss Trump rips New York City sea wall: 'Costly, foolish' and 'environmentally unfriendly idea' 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.


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 PompeoMichael (Mike) Richard PompeoSunday shows preview: Lawmakers gear up for Senate impeachment trial Parnas pressure grows on Senate GOP Dems plan marathon prep for Senate trial, wary of Trump trying to 'game' the process MORE and Treasury Secretary Steven MnuchinSteven Terner MnuchinSecurity for Trump's Mar-a-Lago visits cost local taxpayers million On The Money — Presented by Wells Fargo — Senate approves Trump trade deal with Canada, Mexico | Senate Dems launch probe into Trump tax law regulations | Trump announces Fed nominees Senate Democrats launch investigation into Trump tax law regulations 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 YarmuthBlue Dogs push Democrats to pass budget Democrats don't expect to do 2020 budget Trump shocks, earns GOP rebukes with Dingell remarks MORE (D-Ky.) and Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersBiden alleges Sanders campaign 'doctored video' to attack him on Social Security record Sanders campaign responds to Biden doctored video claims: Biden should 'stop trying to doctor' public record The Memo: Sanders-Warren battle could reshape Democratic primary MORE (I-Vt.), key members of the House and Senate Budget committees, wrote in a Monday letter to OMB Director Mick MulvaneyJohn (Mick) Michael MulvaneyDemocrats file brief against Trump, 'the Framers' worst nightmare' Parnas pressure grows on Senate GOP Trump trial poses toughest test yet for Roberts 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 GrahamSunday shows preview: Lawmakers gear up for Senate impeachment trial Parnas pressure grows on Senate GOP Senate GOP mulls speeding up Trump impeachment trial MORE (R-S.C.) and Rep. Hal RogersHarold (Hal) Dallas RogersBottom line Appropriators face crucial weekend to reach deal Trump says he'll decide on foreign aid cuts within a week 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.