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Trump proposes 21 pct cut in US foreign aid in 2021 budget: Officials

Published: Updated:

President Donald Trump will propose cutting billions of dollars in US foreign aid in his fiscal 2021 budget while seeking an increase in funds to counter developing economic threats from China and Russia, senior administration officials told Reuters.

Trump, a Republican, sought in his budget proposal last year to slash foreign aid but faced steep resistance from Congress and did not prevail.

His latest budget, which will be released on Monday, is a blueprint for his spending proposals that is unlikely, again, to be passed, particularly in an election year.

Trump will seek to make a 21 percent cut in foreign aid in the proposal, which seeks $44.1 billion in the upcoming fiscal year compared with $55.7 billion enacted in fiscal year 2020, an administration official said.

The budget will raise military spending by 0.3 percent to $740.5 billion for the fiscal year 2021, starting Oct. 1 and propose higher outlays for defense and veterans, administration officials said.

The White House proposes to slash spending by $4.4 trillion over 10 years.

That includes $130 billion from changes to Medicare prescription-drug pricing, $292 billion from cuts in safety net programs - such as work requirements for Medicaid and food stamps - and $70 billion from tightening eligibility rules for federal disability benefits.

Aid to Ukraine would remain at its 2020 levels under the new proposal, the official said. Trump was acquitted last week of impeachment charges that he withheld aid to Ukraine to spur Kiev to investigate political rival Joe Biden, a Democratic presidential candidate and former US vice president.

Administration officials told Reuters that Trump would request an increase in funding for the US International Development Finance Corporation (DFC) to $700 million compared to $150 million the previous year.