President Donald Trump has been calling for extensive cuts to foreign aid programs. But on Monday, a senior Trump Administration official told Roll Call that that programs favored by Vice President Mike Pence and White House adviser Ivanka Trump will not be affected by a package of foreign aid cuts.
President Trump is “not going to touch those,” the anonymously quoted official told Roll Call.
The foreign spending package would include cuts to U.S. State Department and U.S. Agency for International Development programs. But the programs that will survive the cuts, according to Roll Call, will include programs that promote women’s economic development in other countries (an Ivanka Trump favorite) and programs to protect Christians from persecution in other countries (a Mike Pence favorite).
The Women’s Global Development and Prosperity Initiative, a program spearheaded by Ivanka Trump, will survive the cuts, according to Roll Call’s source — as will funding to support groups like Kurdish Yazidis living in Iraq, which has been one of Pence’s priorities.
The cuts, Roll Call’s source said, will also spare the almost $9 million devoted annually to global health programs like combating HIV/AIDS and malaria abroad.
The international spending package is being developed by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). According to Roll Call’s Paul M. Krawzak, it is “not clear” if Trump will approve the package. But a source “with knowledge of the deliberations” told Roll Call that OMB officials are confident the package will go forward.