WASHINGTON—Representative Eliot L. Engel, Ranking Member of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, today made the following statement regarding a just released joint U.S. – Mexico declaration in which the Trump Administration committed to increased spending on development in southern Mexico and Central America:

“Since President Trump took office, Congress has rejected his misguided effort to slash foreign assistance to Central America, a region that continues to be plagued by violence and poverty. Most recently, President Trump took to Twitter to announce that he would cut off aid to El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala. This comes after referring to El Salvador as a ‘s***hole’ country, ripping Central American children away from their parents, cutting off Temporary Protected Status for Salvadorans and Hondurans living in the United States, and boasting about progress on a border wall that doesn’t exist.

“So it should come as no surprise that Democrats in Congress are skeptical about the Trump Administration’s rhetorical commitment to new funding for Central America and southern Mexico to address the root causes of child migration. Budgets set priorities, and when President Trump releases his international affairs budget proposal next year, he should include additional funding for the region rather than recklessly gutting it. In the next Congress, I will make it a top priority to maintain strong investments in Central America and to separate fact from fiction on any proposal presented by the Administration.”

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