Washington – A plan announced Monday by President Trump to boost defense spending by $54 billion would have the White House cutting funding to numerous other agencies and may result in the elimination of a special envoy position dedicated to fighting anti-Semitism.
According to reports on Bloomberg (http://bloom.bg/2ljYZSa), Trump pledged to finance the ten percent increase in defense spending by slashing the same amount from the government’s discretionary budget. The State Department is bracing itself for cuts which could eliminate several positions, including one dedicated to handling anti-Semitic issues. A source who was familiar with the president’s plan said that foreign aid is also on the Trump chopping block.
Speaking at a Conservative Political Action Conference in Atlanta last week, Trump vowed to pump up funding for the military.
“We will be substantially upgrading all of our military, all of our military; offensive, defensive, everything, bigger and better and stronger than ever before,” said the president. “And hopefully we’ll never have to use it but nobody’s gonna mess with us folks, nobody.”
The State Department established the Office of the Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism (SEAS) under the Global Anti-Semitism Review Act of 2004 to develop and implement policies to combat acts of anti-Semitism.
The SEAS page on the Department of State website has been removed in recent weeks.
Trump’s announcement came on the same day as his condemnation of attacks on Jewish cemeteries in both St. Louis and Philadelphia, as previously reported on VIN News (http://bit.ly/2lSxp0j). White House spokesman Sean Spicer said that the president is “deeply disappointed and concerned” by the recent acts of vandalism.
“The president continues to condemn these and any other forms of anti-Semitic and hateful acts in the strongest terms,” said Spicer.