Live from the Budget Center

February 15, 2011 By Melissa Silverman

The USGLC’s brand-new Budget Center is live, with all the latest numbers, charts and detailed analysis of both the FY2011 and FY2012 budget processes. Yesterday, the USGLC applauded the Administration’s FY 12 International Affairs Budget request as a critical investment in America’s national security.  At a time of intense pressure to cut spending and in the context of an overall freeze on non-security funding, the President has presented an International Affairs budget that protects America’s security interests while also encouraging more efficient use of taxpayer dollars. For a full analysis of the President’s FY 2012 International Affairs budget request, click here. The President’s FY12 request comes amidst great uncertainty regarding FY11 spending levels, with votes expected this week in the House of Representatives to cut $100 billion from discretionary programs, including 19 percent from the International Affairs budget. Amendments to cut FY11 International Affairs funding even further are anticipated during this week’s House debate. Later today, Secretary of State Clinton will deliver a major policy address on Internet freedom, while USAID Administrator Shah will address global health on the campus of NIH.

Must Reads

Who’s In the News

Budget cuts should not compromise missions on the ground (Hilary Clinton, the Hill)

Events in Egypt show how important it is that we have a global diplomatic presence, a presence that will be ready to handle crises, prevent conflicts, protect American citizens overseas, and protect American economic and strategic interests.

Leadership + Innovation = Lives Saved (Melinda Gates, the Huffington Post)

Today in Nairobi, hundreds of children will receive protection from pneumonia. Kenya’s President Emilio Mwai Kibaki will join GAVI Alliance CEO Helen Evans, John Hopkins University’s Dr. Orin Levine, pediatricians, health workers, and other partners to celebrate the introduction of a new vaccine against pneumonia in Kenya.

Clinton to announce new ‘AfPak’ envoy (Karen DeYoung, the Washington Post)

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton has chosen a new special envoy to Afghanistan and Pakistan, after months of delay and disagreements between the White House and the State Department over the parameters of the job that became vacant with the December death of Richard C. Holbrooke, senior officials said.

Smart Power

The GOP’s door of no return (Michael Gerson, the Washington Post)

For time beyond remembering, the people of Senegal have lost a battle with malaria, surrendering a portion of their children to fever, organ failure and death, until this terrible sacrifice seemed ordinary. The malaria-spreading mosquito is craftier than any beast of the field.

Politics/Foreign Policy

State Department budget request may be dead on arrival on Capitol Hill (Josh Rogin, the Cable Blog)

The new fiscal 2012 budget request for the State Department and USAID made some tough choices, including ending or cutting foreign assistance to dozens of countries and delaying the goal of increasing the number of foreign service officers by 25 percent for years. But those cuts could be become much more drastic when Congress takes its turn slashing diplomacy and development funding for next year.

What’s the Tea Party’s foreign policy? (Christopher Hartman, the Daily Caller)

On Saturday morning, after a round of doubles tennis with my wife and in-laws, I tuned into CSPAN’s Washington Journal program and watched Tea Party  Express Director of Grassroots and Coalitions Amy Kremer do one of the network’s phone-in segments about the Tea Party Express’s political views — as she was in town for the 2011 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC).

Obama Unveils 2012 Budget Request; Foreign Aid Largely Spared from Cuts (Rolf Rosenkranz, Devex)

The White House on Monday (Feb. 14) announced plans to increase global health and food aid and continue “significant levels of funding” for development assistance to Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan in the coming year.

Obama Budget Gives State Department, USAID $47 Billion (Sara Sorcher, the National Journal)

The fiscal 2012 budget allocates $47 billion for the State Department and the U.S. Agency for International Development, which reflects only a 1 percent increase over 2010 levels for the core budget. However, as the civilian side steps up its efforts in the wars, primarily in Iraq, State requests an additional $8.7 billion in funds.

State Department Plans Cuts in Security Funding, Aid (Nicole Gaouette, Bloomberg)

President Barack Obama’s 2012 budget proposes to increase spending on the State Department and its global programs by 1 percent, not including $8.7 billion for operations such as the transition in Iraq as U.S. troops pull out.