USAID

White House readies $4 billion foreign aid cuts package
Proposal to eliminate unspent funds could ratchet up tensions with Congress over appropriations

President Donald Trump's administration could send Congress a proposal to cancel $4 billion in foreign aid funding in the coming days. (Zach Gibson/Getty Images)

The White House budget office on Thursday evening sent a proposal to trim unspent foreign assistance funds by “north of $4 billion” to the State Department for review, according to a senior administration official.

The final price tag of the rescissions package, which could also target unspent balances at the U.S. Agency for International Development, would likely change before being formally submitted to Capitol Hill, the official said.

White House foreign aid cuts to spare Ivanka, Pence favorite programs
Global health, women's economic development and religious protections would not be cut

Ivanka Trump, the president's daughter and adviser, spearheaded a women's economic development program that would not be cut. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Funding to support global health programs, promote women’s economic development and protect Christians and other religious minorities abroad from persecution would be exempt from a package of cuts to foreign aid that the White House is developing.

A senior administration official said Monday those programs are a high priority for President Donald Trump.

Leahy: Reported USAID HIV Ruse in Cuba 'Worse Than Irresponsible'

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

The U.S. Agency for International Development's top appropriator is not amused with a new Associated Press report about the agency's activities in Cuba.  

Democratic Sen. Patrick J. Leahy of Vermont, the chairman of the State and Foreign Operations Appropriations subcommittee warned of the consequences of the effort to the reputation of USAID.  

'Cuban Twitter' Dominates USAID Hearing (Video)

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The senior senator charged with overseeing the U.S. Agency for International Development budget unleashed scathing criticism on the department's leader Tuesday over a "Cuban Twitter" program.  

Sen. Patrick J. Leahy, D-Vt., the longtime chairman of the Appropriations State and Foreign Operations Subcommittee, pressed USAID Administrator Rajiv Shah over the U.S-run social media platform in Cuba that was reported last week by The Associated Press . Leahy wanted to know who was behind creation of the program, but Shah did not have a specific answer, saying it came before he started running the agency at the end of 2009.