The Trump administration's proposed budget for the State Department is "a waste of time," according to senators from both parties.
The proposed budget included a 32 percent cut to State, mostly affecting programs related to security, humanitarian aid, and economic growth. Before Secretary of State Rex Tillerson's testimony before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, the top members questioned the nature of the cuts.
The committee chairman, Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., told CNN he met with his staff Monday to discuss the budget, saying "After about five minutes, I said, 'This is a total waste of time.' The budget that's being presented is not going to be the budget we deal with. It's just not.
"I'm deeply concerned with the direction that President Trump appears to intend to take the country and the world," ranking Democrat Sen. Ben Cardin of Maryland said. "He added that the budget is 'nothing less than a devastating assault on American interests and values.'"
New Jersey Democratic Sen. Robert Menendez described the proposal as "dead on arrival" to CNN.
He said during the hearing to Tillerson, "I'm appalled that you have completely zeroed out – zeroed out – the democracy assistance account. It effectively withdraws American leadership from around the world."
Tillerson rejected that notion, saying "there are countries that we've had to withdraw support and, again, these are some of the hard choices that I've mentioned."
He added later, "I think we're really leaning in to US leadership" to illustrate "we're going to continue in this leadership role, but you, our allies, must do your share."
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