WASHINGTON — U.S. Senator Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), a member of the U.S. Senate Committees on Foreign Relations and Appropriations, on Monday responded to reports that President Trump’s budget will gut assistance for developing countries and fold the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) into the Department of State. Earlier this month, Murphy released Rethinking the Battlefield,” a comprehensive proposal containing specific recommendations to dramatically increase the United States’ non-military footprint abroad by nearly doubling the U.S. foreign affairs budget – including the State Department and USAID – with an emphasis on funding for international development, additional foreign service officers, anti-corruption efforts, countering propaganda, crisis response, and humanitarian relief.

“President Trump’s budget doesn’t put America first and it doesn’t make us any safer. What he doesn’t seem to understand is that the State Department and USAID exist to advance our national security interests – they use diplomacy and aid to increase our influence in the world and make it safer for Americans. Disease, hunger, strife, and corruption lay the groundwork for dictators, warlords and extremist groups to thrive. Both Republicans and Democrats understand that,” said Murphy. “I would be happy to work with him on finding ways we can make our foreign affairs budget more efficient and effective. But this budget would lead to irreparable humanitarian catastrophe and a far more dangerous world for our kids.”