The new White House budget proposal for 2020 is going to include $100 million for a women’s fund, slated to be administered by Ivanka Trump, President Donald Trump’s daughter and a senior White House adviser. According to a story published on the NBC News website, the information was leaked to a reporter for The Associated Press that the budget proposal is going to have $100 million earmarked for a program that has been dubbed The Women’s Global Development and Prosperity Initiative. The administration announced the creation of the initiative just last month, which will have government-wide coordination and be headed up by Trump’s daughter.
The initiative’s stated mission is to help some 50 million women in developing countries around the world advance economically, through job creation, financial support, and regulatory reforms over the course of the next six years. It will be partnered with agencies like the State Department, the National Security Council, and others, and seek to oversee and coordinate existing programs aimed at helping women.
Funding for the program will be earmarked from the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), which has set up an initial fund of $50 million for the program from existing budget funds. The remainder of the funding is to be obtained from other government programs, as well as the private sector.
Ironically, Trump had previously pledged to cut the budget of the USAID, an agency with a $27 billion budget and tasked with international disaster assistance, poverty reduction, and helping to “strengthen democratic governance” internationally, according to its mission statement.
The presidential daughter has come under scrutiny recently along with her husband, Jared Kushner, who is also a senior White House adviser. Both are being looked at more carefully for irregularities in how they obtained White House clearances that allow them to be privy to the top levels of government operations and policy.
But while Kushner’s difficulties with remembering all of his foreign contacts when he was filling out the required forms to get security clearances and other issues have been widely discussed by Democratic lawmakers, Ivanka Trump has largely remained strangely off-limits, despite having her own extensive international business contacts and history working within the sprawling Trump empire.
Indeed, as a recent piece in Quartz related, there is talk among D.C. insiders that “she’s been treated with kid gloves, and she really doesn’t deserve to be.”
It remains to be seen if the president’s plans to hand over a $100 million budget with only vaguely-defined goals to his own daughter, who has faced her own ethics scrutiny, will be enough to prompt the Democrats to investigate her more aggressively.