Sen. Tom Carper, D-Delaware, and Bob Menendez, D-New Jersey, led a group of 34 Democratic senators in sending an April 4 letter to President Donald Trump opposing his plan to cut national security funding to Northern Triangle countries.
In their missive, the senators make clear the U.S. Congress already appropriated these funds to advance the United States’ foreign policy priorities related to El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras.
“By obstructing the use of fiscal 2018 national security funding and seeking to terminate similar funding from fiscal 2017, you are personally undermining efforts to promote U.S. national security and economic prosperity,” wrote the senators. “Since taking office, you have consistently expressed a flawed understanding of U.S. foreign assistance. It is neither charity, nor is it a gift to foreign governments.”
The senators also noted that the Trump administration’s decision undermines years of continuous bipartisan and bicameral congressional efforts to increase the effectiveness of U.S. foreign assistance to Central America in order to ensure consequential change and address root causes of irregular migration to the U.S.
“Your shortsighted decision poses serious risks to our national security and will damage strategic U.S. efforts to address the underlying conditions driving citizens in all three countries to flee their homelands and migrate to the U.S.,” added the senators, citing cabinet officials that have recently called for a rational response to the growing number of migrants fleeing violent conditions in Central America.