CAGW Recommendations for Trump Administration's Nickel Plan- State

November 1, 2018

The Honorable Mike Pompeo
Secretary, Department of State
2201 C Street, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20520

Dear Secretary Pompeo,

During a meeting on October 17, 2018, President Trump directed you and other members of his Cabinet to cut their department budgets by 5 percent in fiscal year (FY) 2019.  With a national debt of more than $21 trillion and the budget deficit soaring to its highest level since 2012, President Trump’s initiative will help to improve fiscal responsibility.

Since 1993, Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW) has annually published Prime Cuts, a comprehensive account of options the federal government possesses to reduce waste, fraud, abuse, and mismanagement.  The 2018 edition has 636 recommendations that would save $429.8 billion in the first year and $3.1 trillion over five years.  Since CAGW was established in 1984 following the release of the Grace Commission report under President Reagan, the implementation of recommendations similar to those in Prime Cuts has helped save taxpayers $1.8 trillion.

I urge you to consider the following recommendations for President Trump’s 5 percent spending cut directive that are included in Prime Cuts 2018, as well as proposed in whole or in part in the President’s Major Savings and Reforms for FYs 2018 and 2019.

  • Limit the contribution to United Nations peacekeeping missions to at or below the statutory cap of 25 percent

                 1-Year Savings: $1.1 billion                   5-Year Savings: $5.4 billion

  • Eliminate the Development Assistance account and refocus and reduce economic and development assistance across countries and sectors

                 1-Year Savings: $2.8 billion                   5-Year Savings: $14.2 billion

  • Eliminate earmarks for the East-West Center and the Asia Foundation

                1-Year Savings: $34 million                   5-Year Savings: $169 million

  • Eliminate the P.L. 480 Title II Food Aid Program (Title II)

                1-Year Savings: $1.6 billion                   5-Year Savings: $8 billion

  • Eliminate earmarked appropriations for non-profit organizations

                1-Year Savings: $34 million                   5-Year Savings: $170 million

  • Reduce federal funding for the Department of State’s Educational and Cultural Exchange Programs

                1-Year Savings: $475 million                 5-Year Savings: $2.4 billion     

  • End or reduce funding for international programs and organizations whose missions do not substantially advance U.S. foreign policy interests

                1-Year Savings: $703 million                 5-Year Savings: $3.5 billion

Secretary Pompeo, thank you for your efforts to be a responsible steward of the taxpayers money.  Your work to fulfill President Trump’s 5 percent cut directive will show taxpayers that your department stands with them in rooting out wasteful spending in the federal government.

Sincerely,

Tom Schatz
President, CAGW

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