While the rest of the Republican Party is busy celebrating the Make America Great Again movement and hoping for good things to come out of the Trump era, Sens. Lindsey Graham and John McCain can apparently not come to terms with the new direction of the conservative movement. Every time they get in front of a microphone, we can only conclude that they would have been much happier with President Hillary.
Last week, it was McCain’s turn to tell our friends in Germany that Trump’s ideas were not those of America. This week, he’s letting Graham take the lead with an uncalled for assault on the new White House budget proposal. Graham told reporters, “It’s not going to happen. It would be a disaster.”
Speaking specifically to the cuts to the State Department’s foreign aid budget, Graham said the budget was “dead on arrival.”
“A budget this lean would put those who serve overseas for the State Department at risk,” said Graham. “And it’s not going to happen.”
In the proposal, Trump called for $54 billion in spending reductions in conjunction with an equivalent increase in military funding. The cuts would take a significant amount of annual funding away from the State Department and the EPA.
Graham is not alone in criticizing the budget proposal. Marco Rubio tweeted: “Foreign aid is not charity. We must make sure it is well spent, but it is less than 1% of budget & critical to our national security.”
Let’s be clear: We’re not necessarily in disagreement with Rubio and Graham on this point. And it’s a point that Trump himself occasionally downplays or seems to miss, which is that most of what America does overseas in terms of “charity” or military aid is done for us, not the country in question. Or, in more generous terms, it serves both purposes.
But let’s also come back to reality: The White House budget seldom looks anything like the final version passed by Congress, so it’s not like these Republicans should feel pressured to come out with this kind of knee-jerk reaction. In many years, Congress barely even pays any attention to the president’s budget. That’s their right. They are Congress. They hold the keys to the kingdom.
So knowing that, what made it so urgent for Graham and Rubio to once again loudly and publicly disagree with the Republican president? We have the Democratic Party on the verge of total and complete internal collapse, and you think that this is a good time to have a slapfight over foreign aid? Wake up!