Sen. Chris Coons applauded a bipartisan vote in the Appropriations Committee on Sept. 7 that rejected President Donald Trump’s budget proposal, which would have slashed more than 30 percent of the budget of the State Department and the U.S. Agency for International Development, among other cuts to foreign assistance, diplomacy and security.
“Today’s vote was a bipartisan rejection of the Trump administration’s short-sighted cuts to American diplomacy,” Coons said. “As challenges from North Korea, Russia, Syria and ISIS continue to grow, it is more important than ever that we use all tools in the American foreign policy tool-kit to advance our interests and values around the world. I am very glad that Democrats and Republicans in the Senate came together to reject President Trump’s disastrous proposed cuts and to support American diplomacy and development initiatives.”
Today’s vote in the Senate Appropriations Committee unanimously approved $51.35 billion that funds the State Department, USAID and programs that support national security and American values abroad.
Key differences between Trump’s budget proposal and the bipartisan bill passed:
— This bill protects Americans overseas by providing nearly $1 billion more for
embassy security than President Trump’s proposal.
— This bill provides $1 billion more than President Trump’s proposal for critical lifesaving humanitarian assistance to build international stability.
— The bill bolsters global health programs around the world by providing over $2 billion more than in global health funding President Trump’s proposal to fight the spread of diseases like HIV/AIDS, malaria and polio, and strengthen health systems to prevent pandemics.
The bill also provides critical assistance to key allies, including Israel, Jordan and Tunisia; and supports democracy, governance and development abroad. Essential funding is also provided for members of the foreign service and other personnel serving overseas. The measure also provides life-saving humanitarian assistance to address the needs of refugees, internally displaced persons, victims of famine and others that had manmade and natural disasters.
The bill also includes Coons’ amendment to protect the J-1 Visa Exchange Visitor Program. This program builds people-to-people connections and drives economic growth in Delaware by placing international visitors in temporary work and study positions that are critical to Delaware businesses.