Categories for Foreign Aid

26,003. 6/25/2019

BORDER/FOREIGN AID/HOUSE OF REPS/IMMIGRATION/TRUMP AS PRESIDENT: “The U.S. House of Representatives on Tuesday [6-25-19] approved a $4.5 billion aid package to address the migrant surge along the U.S.-Mexico border, including new standards for migrants in custody following reports of poor conditions facing young children at overcrowded facilities. The Democratic-led House voted 230-195, mostly along party lines, to pass the measure, but its future is uncertain. The Republican-run Senate is working on its own version of the bill, and Republican President Donald Trump has vowed to veto the House legislation, with White House officials saying it would hamstring the administration’s border enforcement efforts. Trump on May 1 requested the aid for programs that house, feed, transport and oversee record numbers of Central American families seeking asylum in the United States and straining capacity at migrant shelters in border cities. Attorneys raised alarms last week after finding more than 300 migrant children in an overcrowded Texas border patrol station, where they said some had been held for weeks in squalid conditions without adequate food and water.”

Susan Cornwell, “U.S. House passes border aid bill, Trump vows veto,” Reuters, June 25, 2019 7:47 am

24,760. 5/9/2019

CENTRAL AMERICA/DEMS/FOREIGN AID/HOUSE OF REPS/TRUMP AS PRESIDENT: “A Democratic-led U.S. House of Representatives committee moved on Thursday [5-9-19] toward restoring hundreds of millions of dollars of aid to Central America that was cut off by President Donald Trump, setting up a potential showdown with the White House. A House Appropriations subcommittee released a draft of its bill funding the State Department and foreign aid programs for the fiscal year ending Sept. 30, 2020, that rejects the Republican president’s proposals for steep cuts. It also seeks to influence policy, including by prohibiting funds from supporting the sale of nuclear technology to Saudi Arabia and removing a Republican-led prohibition on contributions to the U.N. Green Climate Fund, and prohibits the use of funds to withdraw from the Paris climate agreement. The Trump administration said in March it would cut aid to El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras after Trump blasted the three countries because thousands of their citizens had sought asylum at the U.S. border with Mexico.”

Patricia Zengerle, “House seeks to restore Central American aid, defying Trump,” Reuters, May 9, 2019 10:30 am

23,702. 4/3/2019

CENTRAL AMERICA/FOREIGN AID/TRUMP AS PRESIDENT/VENEZUELA: “The Trump administration is preparing an economic relief package for Venezuela that would put United States dollars directly into the hands of Venezuelans in the event that the government of President Nicolás Maduro falls. Larry Kudlow, the director of the White House’s National Economic Council, disclosed the outlines of the plan on Wednesday as he called on Mr. Maduro to step aside and allow Juan Guaidó, the opposition leader whom the United States recognizes as Venezuela’s interim president, to take office. Plans for a comprehensive aid package for Venezuela come as President Trump is cutting aid to other countries, including Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador, out of frustration over the way those nations have handled their migration policies. Mr. Trump has also threatened to cut funding to Puerto Rico, a United States territory, over its handling of federal hurricane relief funds…Venezuela has been crippled for years by hyperinflation and a failing economy that has led millions to flee for Colombia and other countries. The nation has been further disrupted since January, when opposition political leaders refused to acknowledge as legitimate the re-election of Mr. Maduro. The United States has thrown its support behind Mr. Guaidó, who declared himself interim president that month.”

Alan Rappeport, “Trump Prepares Aid Package for Venezuela in Case Maduro Government Falls,” The New York Times online, April 3, 2019

23,589. 3/29/2019

BORDER/CENTRAL AMERICA/FOREIGN AID/MEXICO/TRUMP AS PRESIDENT: “President Trump said on Friday [3-29-19] that there would be a ‘very good likelihood’ that he would seal off the United States border with Mexico next week, even as he moved to punish Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador for migrant caravans by cutting off all foreign aid to the countries. The moves escalated a sustained berating of countries he blames for being unable to stop the flow of migrants trying to make their way north…At Mr. Trump’s direction, the State Department on Friday began the process of informing Congress that it intended to end the foreign aid. A person with knowledge of the decision said that Mr. Trump met with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Thursday, after which diplomats were directed to begin the process of cutting off the funds by drafting letters to lawmakers. Mr. Trump publicly said as much on Friday in comments to reporters…The State Department issued a statement late on Friday saying: ‘At the secretary’s instruction, we are carrying out the president’s direction and ending FY 2017 and FY 2018 foreign assistance programs for the Northern Triangle. We will be engaging Congress as part of this process.’ Mr. Trump has threatened to close off the border and cut off aid to the three countries — known as the Northern Triangle — several times before and has not followed through.”

Katie Rogers, Zolan Kanno-Youngs and Michael D. Shear, “Trump Directs State Dept. to End Aid to 3 Central American Countries,” The New York Times online, March 29, 2019