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GOP wants to slash State Department funding in 2025

House Republicans are proposing a cut of about 11 percent to the State Department budget, in a proposal released Monday for the main funding bill for the department. 

The spending cuts target efforts to address climate change and promote LGBTQ visibility and inclusivity. They decrease international spending on refugee and migration crises, and cut funding for the United Nations and international programs — in particular women’s health related to family planning and education about abortion.

“This bill prioritizes our national security and reduces wasteful spending,” House Appropriations Committee Chair Tom Cole (R-Okla.) said in a statement. 

The cuts also eliminate at least 33 special envoys and special representatives — individual appointments that are viewed as important to elevate and address a specific policy issue. Among the canceled 33 appointments are the special presidential envoy for climate; special envoy for racial equity and justice; special envoy to advance the human rights of LGBTQ persons; special envoy for international labor affairs, and the special representative for Palestinian affairs.

Other spending cuts take aim at the United States Agency for Global Media (USAGM), which is the umbrella group of five branches of media outlets that broadcast in countries with restrictions on the free press. This includes Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty; the Voice of America; the Middle East Broadcasting Network; and Radio Free Asia; the Office of Cuba broadcasting. USAGM also oversees the Open Technology Fund, which promotes uncensored access to the internet. 

Other spending cuts affect the Peace Corps, global health programs and democracy-building initiatives.

Democrats rejected the argument that the spending cuts improve U.S. national security. 

“I am appalled by the extreme cuts and policy riders Republicans have proposed for 2025,” said Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.), the ranking member for the House Appropriations Subcommittee on State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs.

“For the sake of our national security, women’s health globally, and our response to the climate crisis, Republicans must abandon this reckless and partisan path and join Democrats at the table to govern.”

The spending cut puts the State Department’s operating budget at almost $52 billion per year, slashing $7.6 billion from 2024 spending levels. 

The proposal is also nearly 20 percent less than the request issued by President Biden, who requested a budget of nearly $64 billion. 

Source: The Hill

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