WASHINGTON, March 4 (Reuters) - The White House budget director confirmed Saturday that the Trump administration will propose "fairly dramatic reductions" in the U.S. foreign aid budget later this month.
Reuters and other news outlets reported earlier this week that the administration plans to propose to Congress cuts in the budgets for the U.S. State Department and Agency for International Development by about one third.
"We are going to propose to reduce foreign aid and we are going to propose to spend that money here," White House Office of Management Budget director Mick Mulvaney told Fox News on Saturday, adding the proposed cuts would include "fairly dramatic reductions in foreign aid."
Mulvaney said the cuts in foreign aid would help the administration fund a proposed $54 billion expansion of the U.S. military budget.
RELATED: President Trump meeting other world leaders
President Trump meeting other world leaders
President Trump meeting other world leaders
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau (L) is greeted by greets U.S. President Donald Trump in the Oval Office at the White House in Washington, U.S., February 13, 2017. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque - TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and U.S. President Donald Trump pose for a photograph before attending dinner at Mar-a-Lago Club in Palm Beach, Florida, U.S., February 11, 2017. REUTERS/Carlos Barria
U.S. President Donald Trump looks down at a bust of former British Prime Minister Winston Churchill while meeting with British Prime Minister Theresa May at the White House in Washington, U.S., January 27, 2017. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addresses a joint news conference with U.S. President Donald Trump (R) at the White House in Washington, U.S., February 15, 2017. REUTERS/Carlos Barria
Angela Merkel, Germany's chancellor, left, speaks with U.S. President Donald Trump, during a meeting in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Friday, March 17, 2017. Merkel, who is running for a fourth term in Germanys election in September, plans to explain her view of the mutual advantages of free trade during her talks with Trump on Friday, according to German officials. Photographers: Pat Benic/Pool via Bloomberg
King Abdullah II of Jordan, left, looks towards U.S. President Donald Trump after shaking hands during a news conference in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Wednesday, April 5, 2017. The talks with the Jordanian monarch are expected to focus on other regional issues, including Syria and the Israeli-Palestinian peace process. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images
U.S. President Donald Trump, right, shakes hands with Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi, Egypt's president, during a meeting inside the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Monday, April 3, 2017. Trumpï¿½said Monday his buildup of the U.S. military would help El-Sisiï¿½fight terrorism as the two met at the White House for their first summit of the Trump presidency. Photographer: Olivier Douliery/Pool via Bloomberg
US President Donald Trump meets with Iraqi Prime Minister Haider Al-Abadi in the Oval Office in the White House on March 20, 2017, in Washington, DC. / AFP PHOTO / MOLLY RILEY (Photo credit should read MOLLY RILEY/AFP/Getty Images)
US President Donald Trump (L) and Chinese President Xi Jinping (R) walk together at the Mar-a-Lago estate in West Palm Beach, Florida, April 7, 2017.
President Donald Trump entered a second day of talks with his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping on Friday hoping to strike deals on trade and jobs after an overnight show of strength in Syria. / AFP PHOTO / JIM WATSON (Photo credit should read JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images)
U.S. President Donald Trump meets Prime Minister Lokke Rasmussen of Denmark outside the West Wing of the White House March 30, 2017 in Washington, DC. President Trump is hosting Prime Minister Rasmussen with an Oval Office meeting. (Photo by Cheriss May/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
Discover More Like This
BACK TO SLIDE
"The overriding message is fairly straightforward: less money spent overseas means more money spent here," said Mulvaney, a former South Carolina Representative.
The United States spends just over $50 billion annually on the State Department and USAID, compared with $600 billion or more each year on the Pentagon.
Several Republicans this week on Capitol Hill raised concerns about the planned cuts to the State Department.
"I am very concerned by reports of deep cuts that could damage efforts to combat terrorism, save lives and create opportunities for American workers," said U.S. Representative Ed Royce, the Republican chairman of the House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee.
A U.S. government website said 20 government agencies plan to award $36.5 billion in foreign assistance programs in more than 100 countries around the world during the current budget year.
Senator Marco Rubio, a Florida Republican, tweeted earlier this week: "Foreign Aid is not charity. We must make sure it is well spent, but it is less than 1% of budget & critical to our national security."
Mulvaney said the Trump administration will release its budget proposal on March 16. Reuters has reported the administration plans significant proposed cuts in many other domestic programs. (Reporting by David Shepardson; Editing by Bernard Orr)