Trump proposes deep cuts in State Department budget

The proposed State Department has two things in common with last year's.

"This is not a serious proposal and Congress should do as it did last year: ignore it," said the ONE Campaign's North America executive director in a statement.

Even Republicans in Congress agree.

Still, the budget sends a message — and at State, it's that the White House still thinks it's a time to cut back.

"The general messaging for this budget is to still restrain non-defense discretionary spending," Doug Pitkin, director of the agency's Bureau of Budget and Planning, told reporters, adding that the budget Congress passed for the agency last year was unsustainable.

The total budget proposal for State and USAID is $39.3 billion.

"There's nothing specific just tied to that because that is only one factor," Director of State's Office of US Foreign Assistance Resources Hari Sastry told ABC News.

This year's proposal also saw some increases, including a new $20 million fund to the Global Engagement Center's Disinformation Programs to counter state-sponsored disinformation campaigns by the likes of Russia and increasing embassy security and construction funds by over $515 million.

That jump is not just to boost security after the Benghazi Accountability Review Board, but also because of the Trump administration's plans for a new embassy in Jerusalem.

"The construction of a U.S. Embassy facility in Jerusalem will be among the Department’s highest priority for capital security investments in FY 2018 and FY 2019," according to the proposal.

The reform project has generated fierce criticism of Tillerson inside and outside the organization, with critics accusing him of "hollowing out" the department or sinking morale.

In particular, the budget proposal calls for $96.2 million for the Human Capital and Data Analytics Initiative, the first concrete steps with minor, but popular changes like IT updates and streamlining human resources services.

Still, there's no lift on the department-wide hiring freeze or the slow-walk of promotions, which are very unpopular within the agency. Instead, the workforce will be "sustained" at FY18 levels, according to Deputy Secretary John Sullivan, who said it would help "to deliver a smaller, but more effective government that is accountable to the American taxpayer."

There was one announcement that won some praise. The proposal calls for reforming U.S. international development finance by consolidating many government agencies into one. The Development Finance Institution, or DFI, would be a one-stop shop that aims to foster greater private sector investment in developing countries using loans, guarantees, insurance, and other tools.

There is bipartisan legislation forthcoming to do just that.