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 conversation with foreign leader part of complaint that led to standoff between intel chief, Congress: report Pelosi: Lewandowski should have been held in contempt 'right then and there' Trump to withdraw FEMA chief nominee: report 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 PompeoMichael (Mike) Richard PompeoOvernight Defense: Trump says he has 'many options' on Iran | Hostage negotiator chosen for national security adviser | Senate Dems block funding bill | Documents show Pentagon spent at least 4K at Trump's Scotland resort Trump says he has 'many options' on Iran Trump doubles down on Graham: 'How did going into Iraq work out?' MORE and Treasury Secretary Steven MnuchinSteven Terner MnuchinLawmakers run into major speed bumps on spending bills The Hill's 12:30 Report: Trump, Graham clash over Iran policy Liz Cheney calls for 'proportional military response' against Iran 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 YarmuthMcConnell accepts Democratic rep's challenge to 5 debates House Democrats blur lines on support for impeachment White House won't move forward with billions in foreign aid cuts MORE (D-Ky.) and Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersBiden lead shrinks, Sanders and Warren close gap: poll Biden allies: Warren is taking a bite out of his electability argument Overnight Health Care — Presented by Partnership for America's Health Care Future — Pelosi set to unveil drug price plan | Abortion rate in US hits lowest level since Roe v. Wade | Dems threaten to subpoena Juul MORE (I-Vt.), key members of the House and Senate Budget committees, wrote in a Monday letter to OMB Director Mick MulvaneyJohn (Mick) Michael MulvaneyTrump administration asks Supreme Court to take up challenge to consumer bureau NOAA chief praises agency scientists after statement backing up Trump tweet The Hill's Morning Report — Biden steadies in third debate as top tier remains the same 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 GrahamGOP signals unease with Barr's gun plan Overnight Defense: Trump says he has 'many options' on Iran | Hostage negotiator chosen for national security adviser | Senate Dems block funding bill | Documents show Pentagon spent at least 4K at Trump's Scotland resort GOP's Kennedy sends warning shot to Trump nominee Menashi MORE (R-S.C.) and Rep. Hal RogersHarold (Hal) Dallas RogersTrump says he'll decide on foreign aid cuts within a week Pelosi warns Mnuchin to stop 'illegal' .3B cut to foreign aid Appropriators warn White House against clawing back foreign aid 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.