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Clinton Describes Trump Budget Plan As 'Grave Mistake'

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Former U.S. Secretary of State and Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton offered her criticism of President Donald Trump's proposed budget plan.

Clinton suggested that Trump's proposed cuts to the departments of education and the environment, among others, would be detrimental to women and a hindrance to U.S. security, according to CBS News.

Early in March, Trump released a budget plan that included deep cuts to the State Department, the Environmental Protection Agency and the National Endowment for the Arts. It also included a sizable increase to the Department of Defense.

Office of Management and Budget Director Mike Mulvaney said Trump's plan seeks to decrease the role of the American government, according to CBS News.

At a speech at Georgetown University's Institute for Women, Peace, and Security, Clinton cited a letter signed by more than 120 retired generals and admirals who made clear their objections, stating the budget would make the U.S. less safe and reduce the country's standing abroad.

"We are seeing signals of a shift that should alarm us all," Clinton said in her speech. "This administration’s proposed cuts to international health, development and diplomacy would be a blow to women and children and a grave mistake for our country."

She also touched on the refugee crisis and Trump's proposed cuts to USAID, which delivers essential supplies to war-torn countries.

"We have to come to terms with [the crisis] because, again, it's not just somebody else's problem. It will affect the stability of nations and regions, which in turn, could very well bring problems, whether it be conflict and terrorism or disease and criminal activity to our shore," she said, reports Time.

After Trump's proposal, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson defended the budgetary cuts to foreign aid, saying the U.S. is reducing resources after a few years at an extraordinarily high level and that the new budget reflects new expectations.

"One is that as time goes by, there will be fewer military conflicts that the U.S. will be directly engaged in; and second, that as we become more effective in our aid programs, that we will also be attracting resources from other countries, allies, and other sources as well to contribute in our development aid and our disaster assistance," he said, according to CBS News.

Trump's budget proposal is only a blueprint for a congressional budget committee, which must decide how to use federal funds. Lawmakers signed an extension that would fund the government until April 28 and are actively seeking a more long-term plan, according to The Hill. If a deal cannot be reached by April 28, portions of the government will shut down.

Sources: CBS News (2), Time, The Hill / Photo credit: Elliott P./Flickr

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