The federal government’s petrodollar policy is one of the more controversial topics in Washington, but the House and Senate are still debating a proposal to slash the amount of petrodollars that will be spent on foreign aid.
The petrodoliy cuts to foreign aid in 2020 are already being opposed by some lawmakers and some of President Donald Trump’s Republican allies, who fear the cuts will undermine America’s international standing and threaten American national security.
But a House bill that has been tabled by the House Rules Committee would cut a further $8 billion from the Foreign Assistance Act by 2020.
“Our foreign aid budget is a big source of American pride, and it’s vital that our foreign aid programs are maintained to keep the American people safe,” Rep. Pete Buttigieg (R-PA), chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee, told The Hill in a statement.
“But I’m worried about the impact of a petrodoodle reduction.
I believe it will undermine the confidence in our foreign assistance programs, undermine our foreign policy, and threaten our national security.”
Bridging the gap between the two would cut foreign aid by roughly $5 billion.
But it would also leave the money on the table for domestic programs like Medicare and Medicaid, which both rely on the petrodoodles.
Budget analysts have estimated that the cuts would cost the federal government $10 billion a year, and they would also cut aid to many countries with major problems.
“The United States has an obligation to support those countries where there are real concerns about the safety of their citizens and their institutions,” said Peter Navarro, the director of the Congressional Budget Office.
“We can’t have a foreign aid program that is designed to give the impression that our country is providing security in these countries when in fact it’s not.”
Navarro said the cuts to aid to countries with problems like Iran, Syria, and North Korea would be “a real problem.”
He said that while many of the countries that would be affected by the cuts have “serious humanitarian needs,” he doesn’t believe those problems are necessarily a major concern for the United States.
“There’s a wide range of problems that we can address,” Navarro said.
“The vast majority of these problems are, in fact, in a position of weakness.”
Biden has also made clear that the United Kingdom’s decision to leave the European Union will affect the way that aid is spent, saying the U.K. would likely see more of the money saved on foreign assistance.