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 TrumpNew Bob Woodward book will include details of 25 personal letters between Trump and Kim Jong Un On The Money: Pelosi, Mnuchin talk but make no progress on ending stalemate | Trump grabs 'third rail' of politics with payroll tax pause | Trump uses racist tropes to pitch fair housing repeal to 'suburban housewife' Biden commemorates anniversary of Charlottesville 'Unite the Right' rally: 'We are in a battle for the soul of our nation' 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 PompeoTurkey's search for oil may spill over into conflict with Greece The Hill's 12:30 Report: Biden, Harris's first day as running mates Watchdog: Trump's UK envoy made inappropriate remarks on religion, race, sex MORE and Treasury Secretary Steven MnuchinSteven Terner MnuchinOn The Money: Pelosi, Mnuchin talk but make no progress on ending stalemate | Trump grabs 'third rail' of politics with payroll tax pause | Trump uses racist tropes to pitch fair housing repeal to 'suburban housewife' US Chamber asks Treasury to clear up 'serious concerns' about payroll tax deferral Pelosi, Mnuchin talk but make no progress on ending stalemate 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 YarmuthGOP, White House struggle to unite behind COVID-19 relief House seeks ways to honor John Lewis Karen Bass's star rises after leading police reform push MORE (D-Ky.) and Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersOcasio-Cortez's 2nd grade teacher tells her 'you've got this' ahead of DNC speech Trump and allies grapple with how to target Harris Chris Wallace: Kamala Harris 'not far to the left despite what Republicans are gonna try to say' MORE (I-Vt.), key members of the House and Senate Budget committees, wrote in a Monday letter to OMB Director Mick MulvaneyMick MulvaneyFauci says positive White House task force reports don't always match what he hears on the ground Bottom line White House, Senate GOP clash over testing funds 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 GrahamRon Johnson signals some GOP senators concerned about his Obama-era probes Democrats ramp up warnings on Russian election meddling Hillicon Valley: Facebook removed over 22 million posts for hate speech in second quarter | Republicans introduce bill to defend universities against hackers targeting COVID-19 research | Facebook's Sandberg backs Harris as VP pick MORE (R-S.C.) and Rep. Hal RogersHarold (Hal) Dallas RogersHouse Democrats push for resuming aid to Palestinians in spending bill House panel approves bill funding WHO, paring back abortion restrictions Democrats take aim at Trump's policies on 2021 funding markups 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.