Trump pitches 37 percent cut to State Department budget

Image result for state department budget slashingThe Trump administration is proposing a 37 percent spending cut for the State Department and U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), according to multiple reports.

U.S. officials say the suggested decrease would likely require laying off employees, including security contractors at diplomatic facilities overseas, The Associated Press said Tuesday.

The AP said development assistance would likely take the biggest hit, citing officials familiar with the proposal.

The agencies together received $50.1 billion during the current fiscal year, it added, a little more than 1 percent of the total federal budget.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) on Tuesday said he would oppose drastic cuts to the State Department. 

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The Hill

The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) is poised to make a recommendation to President Trump on who he should appoint as regulatory czar, Director Mick Mulvaney said on Monday.

"We've got it down to two candidates, and I think we'll be ready to make a recommendation on that area to the president here probably this week," Mulvaney told conservative talk show host Hugh Hewitt without naming either candidate.

The appointee would run the White House's Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, better known as OIRA, and would report directly to Mulvaney.

OIRA polices the federal agencies to make sure they follow President Trump's regulatory agenda. All major rules must be approved by OIRA before they are published.

During the interview, Mulvaney also vowed to "push the limit" with the Congressional Review Act, which Republicans are using to repeal a number of Obama-era rules.

The Congressional Review Act allows lawmakers to overturn recently published regulations with a simple majority. The catch is lawmakers can only reach back 60 legislative days since the rule was published, which in this case, goes back to June 2016.

However, a regulation is not considered published until the federal agency sends a formal report notifying Congress and the Government Accountability Office. In many cases, these reports were never sent.

Regulatory experts are debating whether Republicans can reach back further than last June to the beginning of the Obama administration.

"We are going to try and look at any ways to legally push the limit on how far back we can go," Mulvaney said.

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ALERT ALERT

Joe Biden On Violence Against Women:   We Have To Keep ‘Punching At It, And Punching At It, And Punching At It’

 The audience laughed as he said this.

Former Vice President Joe Biden said that America needs to be “punching” back to combat violence against women during Wednesday’s Democratic debate.

Biden was asked if he would tackle specific issues regarding the #MeToo movement at the beginning of his presidency, if he were to be elected. The former vice president previously sponsored the 1994 Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), which aimed to protect victims of domestic violence.

The presidential candidate responded to the question about assaulting women by using the phrase “punching” repeatedly, apparently not thinking about the implications of using such a word.

“No man has a right to raise a hand to a woman in anger other than in self-defense, and that rarely ever occurs,” Biden said. “So we have to just change the culture, period, and keep punching at it and punching at it and punching at it. No, I really mean it.”

A few people laughed in the audience as he said this.

Biden added that it is important to pass the Violence Against Women Act, which has passed in the House and held up in the Senate. The former Vice President also suggested that America has to “fundamentally change the culture” of how women are treated, noting that it is “everyone’s responsibility.”

“It’s a gigantic issue, and we have to make it clear from the top, from the president on down that we will not tolerate it,” Biden said. “We will not tolerate this culture.”

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