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Graham: State Dept. Budget Cuts Could Create 'a Lot of Benghazis'

Image: Graham: State Dept. Budget Cuts Could Create 'a Lot of Benghazis'
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By    |   Tuesday, 23 May 2017 04:05 PM

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., said President Donald Trump's proposed budget for the 2018 fiscal year cuts State Department funding to such a degree that the vacuum it would leave could make for "a lot of Benghazis," The Washington Post reported Tuesday.

"If we implemented this budget, we'd have to retreat from the world and put a lot of people at risk," Graham said. "A lot of Benghazis in the making if we actually implemented the State Department cuts."

Democrats often blamed Republican lawmakers for State Department budget cuts that lead to a lack of security which put the Benghazi diplomatic complex at risk, leaving the compound vulnerable to an attack by terrorists in September 2012 during the administration of former President Barack Obama.

Trump's budget, released Tuesday, slashes funding for the State Department and USAID by 31 percent, adjusted to 29 percent when not counting the Overseas Contingency Operation, a fund intended for war-related activities that cannot be forecast well in advance.

"A 29 percent cut means you really have to withdraw from the world because your presence is compromised," said Graham, who chairs the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on State, Foreign Operations and Related Programs. "That may be the goal of this budget. It's not my goal. This guts soft power as we know it."

Trump's budget plan also cuts programs in the State Department including funding for U.S. contributions to international organizations, international peacekeeping efforts and nuclear proliferation and global health programs. The document justifying the budget cuts explained supplemental resources from 2017 would make up for the drop in 2018 State Department funding.

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Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., said President Donald Trump's proposed budget for the 2018 fiscal year cuts State Department funding to such a degree that the vacuum it would leave could make for "a lot of Benghazis," The Washington Post reported Tuesday.
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2017-05-23
Tuesday, 23 May 2017 04:05 PM
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