Brett D. Schaefer
Economics, North America
But the notion that Congress should reject any cuts is simply not realistic.
For the most part, Trump’s request for the Department of State and other international programs, including both base discretionary funding and supplementary funding through overseas contingency operations (OCO), mirrored the request made in the fiscal year 2018 budget. The 2018 budget requested $ 40.2 billion for the Department of State. This was approximately 32 percent below the $ 59.1 enacted for fiscal year 2017. In comparison, the 2019 budget requested $ 40.3 billion, only slightly higher than the 2018 budget.
During the Trump presidency, reactions to administration proposals and policies has tended toward hyperbole, so the shift is a welcome embrace of perspective. After all, any president’s budget request is merely the first part of the budget process. In the end, Congress must authorize and appropriate funding and will assert its views accordingly.