South Carolina Republican Senator Lindsey Graham said on Tuesday that President Trump’s first budget proposal was “not going to happen.”
Graham also said that the proposal would not make it through the U.S. Congress, calling it “dead on arrival.”
“It’s not going to happen,” he said to NBC News, adding “It would be a disaster.”
The South Carolina Senator, who is no stranger to criticizing Donald Trump, said that of particular concern was Trump’s proposed cuts to the State Department, especially the targeting of foreign aid.
Trump’s proposed budget increases defense spending by about nine percent or $54 billion and a commensurate set of cuts to other areas in order to offset it. Currently, the administration is proposing to make massive cuts to the Environmental Protection Agency, and the State Department. However, both of their combined budgets do not approach the increase in defense spending that Trump wants.
Graham charged that significant State Department cuts would endanger American Foreign Service officers. “A budget this lean would put those who serve overseas for the State Department at risk,” he said. “And it’s not going to happen.”
While the proposal so far released is what is referred to as a skinny budget because it only discusses the budget in broad strokes and is subject to input from various departments, it has still caused significant bipartisan concern among lawmakers.
Senators from both parties on the Foreign Relations Committee have spoken out against the proposed cuts to foreign aid, touting the necessity of funding development projects in needy countries. “Foreign Aid is not charity,” tweeted Florida Senator Marco Rubio. “We must make sure it is well spent, but it is less than 1% of budget & critical to our national security.”
Foreign Aid is not charity. We must make sure it is well spent, but it is less than 1% of budget & critical to our national security.
— Marco Rubio (@marcorubio) February 28, 2017
Connecticut Democratic Senator Chris Murphy agreed with Rubio, adding “An emerging bipartisan consensus that cutting State Dept, USAID, makes us less safe.”
Well said, Marco. An emerging bipartisan consensus that cutting State Dept, USAID, makes us less safe. https://t.co/aUJaEQesBu
— Chris Murphy (@ChrisMurphyCT) February 28, 2017
“The aid we provide to countries around the world directly advances U.S. national interests by fostering a safer and more stable world,” said Delaware Democrat Chris Coons. He also tweeted his agreement with Rubio and Murphy, saying “I agree @ChrisMurphyCT & @marcorubio. Foreign aid must remain an American national security priority. We need these tools in our tookit!”
— Senator Chris Coons (@ChrisCoons) February 28, 2017
Trump on Monday said that he would go into “great detail” about his budget during his Tuesday evening speech to a joint session of Congress.