According to a new report, unelected bureaucrats are slow walking President Trump’s directive to cut off aid to Central American countries.
Trump left many top-ranking officials stunned when he announced during a weekend trip in March to his Mar-a-Lago resort that he was cutting off aid as illegal immigration from the three countries surges.
The State Department quickly issued a statement saying it would carry out his direction and “engage Congress as part of his process.”
But that’s where it ended. The Senate Appropriation Committee, which handles foreign aid, has not heard a thing from the administration. A Democrat official says they have not heard anything about cutting off funding. “What money are we talking about? For what purposes? What’s the timeline for this? It’s been weeks now, and we’ve asked multiple times, and we know nothing,” the aide said.
The hope is that the president will forget what he wanted. Explains The Atlantic:
In the Trump White House, a month and a half is more like a lifetime, meaning that many officials, voters, and reporters—not to mention Trump himself—have long since moved on from the momentary chaos. (Indeed, one outside adviser to the president’s 2020 campaign told me he didn’t even recall that Trump had pledged to cut off the aid.)
Since assuming office, Trump has issued many private demands to aides that have either been slow-walked or altogether ignored. But when the president dictates those spontaneous orders publicly, officials are suddenly accountable to a much broader audience—at least in theory—to make them a reality.
So is the aid getting cut off?
A month and a half has passed since the president’s Central America announcement, and according to lawmakers and aides, the administration is not advancing the issue. Senator Patrick Leahy, who serves as the ranking member of the subcommittee that funds foreign aid, told me that this was the inevitable result of an “impulsive and illogical” decision by the president. “It caught the State Department and USAID by surprise, and they have been scrambling to figure out how to limit the damage it would cause,” Leahy said.