(WASHINGTON) -- The State Department and USAID are battling powerful Republican currents that are trying to erode U.S. spending on the department’s operations and especially foreign aid.
New House Foreign Affairs Committee chair Ileana Ros-Lehtinen assumed her position pledging to slice the department’s budget and take an axe to foreign aid.
This comes as the State Department takes over operations in Iraq from the Pentagon. The State Department argues this means they need to dramatically increase budget requests, but it would still represent a major savings over how much the Pentagon was spending there. The department has also increased its footprint in Afghanistan over the past couple years.
Republicans have also had their eye on foreign aid. During a committee hearing last week another Republican, Rep. Dana Rohrabacher of California, challenged Deputy Secretary of State James Steinberg about the utility of foreign aid.
“Borrowing more money from China in order to give it to other people in different countries is not something that I consider to be a positive option. It's crazy. It's insane,” he said.
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