Starving the beast! Another way to set policy at the Department of State, by Ann Corcoran 2/28/17
Politico is reporting that they are getting out their worry-beads all over the world as the Trump Administration works on its first budget.
Could this mean what we hope it means—a reduction in the millions of dollars we give away to the UNHCR while they dictate to us, telling us which refugees and how many America must take.
UN High Commissioner for Refugees huge glass-domed office building in Geneva, Switzerland. How many of your tax dollars, paid out through the DOS, keep this international organization going? Aid organizations seem to like nice buildings!
Politico (it is kind of cryptic, but hopeful sounding!): U.S. diplomats and aid workers have been afraid that President Donald Trump wants to sideline them in favor of the military.
On Monday, they got even more reason for concern. The Trump administration is developing a federal budget proposal the White House says will give defense programs a $54 billion boost while cutting funding to the other agencies, including the State Department, and especially foreign aid programs.
Lawmakers, foreign embassies and others were scrambling to get the details of the budget plan Monday. Officials at the State Department declined to share their budget reduction targets — it was not clear if the guidance had yet been delivered to them — but some reports forecast as much as 30 percent reduction, a devastating blow.
Funding for the State Department and foreign assistance falls under what’s called the “international affairs budget,” a category that doesn’t include the military. Those programs overseas, including everything from embassy security to pandemic prevention to refugee assistance via the United Nations — cost roughly $58.8 billion. The vast majority of that figure goes to the State Department and the U.S. Agency for International Development.
On a call with reporters, officials with the Office of Management and Budget noted that most federal agencies will be expected to trim their budgets. But they singled out foreign aid programs in particular, indicating the administration believes that other countries are merely taking advantage of the United States. More here.
I wish I knew exactly how much the US Department of State is paying the UN High Commissioner for Refugees. If anyone can figure it out, send it our way! Here is one place to start your research!