The problems with the U.S. State Department under Rex Tillerson have been widely reported, generally citing the Secretary of State as the source of those problems. It would eventually take some action from Congress for people to acknowledge that Foggy Bottom was in trouble. One of the earliest examples of this was when Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) published an opinion piece where he slammed Tillerson for not promoting America's values.

Congress rejects State Department budget proposal

In President Trump's budget proposal, he made it very clear that he wanted to weaken the State Department, which was just a further confirmation of previous statements where he said as much.

Tillerson was put before the Senate Appropriations and the Senate Foreign Relations Committees in June, both slamming the Secretary for his determination to follow through with the cuts to the State Department. At the time, the committees said that they would come up with their own budget, rejecting Tillerson's.

Last week, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) submitted a report that was attached to budget legislation that went to the State Department and foreign operations. The legislation added $11 billion more to the Department's budget -- totaling $51 billion, which is more than the administration wanted. In the administration's budget proposal, they were looking to cut 30 percent more from the previous year for 2018.

The Appropriations Committee approved the funding 31-0, overwhelmingly, early last week.

Tearing into administration's foreign policy approach

While Sen. McCain went after Tillerson in his OpEd this year, Sen. Graham also attacked the Trump administration in his report, saying that theirs was an "apparent doctrine of retreat." The senator referred to what the budget proposal claimed was America sending a message of strength and resolve by cutting funding for the State Department's programs and using it to strengthen the military.

During the hearing in June, Tillerson repeated this, saying that the budget cut was meant to focus on American security after the terrorist attacks of 9/11.

Even then, Graham sarcastically said to Tillerson "you da man!" Saying that by not funding humanitarian programs around the world, America was sending a message to terrorist groups that they could fill in those vacancies.

Tillerson, being defensive in his hearings with Congress, said that they would still be representing American values. Graham's quip alluded to the Secretary of State's "amazing" ability to not fund those programs and still be able to represent America's values.