Mark Your Calendars

February 1, 2011 By Melissa Silverman

Budget trackers, mark your calendars. Yesterday, the White House confirmed that the President’s budget proposal for FY2012 will be submitted to Congress on Monday, February 14. In other news, just before his special guest appearance at USGLC’s annual Tribute Dinner in Washington tomorrow night, Bill Gates stopped by The Daily Show to chat with Jon Stewart. In yesterday’s interview, Gates honed in on the critical importance of the International Affairs Budget, saying “we hope it doesn’t get cut. There are a lot of things that help children. The UK government actually kept their humanitarian stuff even as they were balancing their budget, and I hope to make the case that we should do the same.” Click here to watch Bill Gates on the Daily Show. Skip right to the four minute mark to hear all about the International Affairs Budget!

Must Reads

Who’s In the News

Allying Ourselves With the Next Egypt (John Kerry – NYT)

Even if the protests shaking Egypt subside in the coming days, the chaos of the last week has forever changed the relationship between the Egyptian people and their government. The anger and aspirations propelling a diverse range of citizens into the streets  will not disappear without sweeping changes in the social compact between the people and the government — and these events also call for changes in the relationship between the United States and a stalwart Arab ally.

Bill Gates sets goal of wiping out polio (Steve Sternberg – USA Today)

Half a century after the March of Dimes  put the 20th century’s most feared childhood disease on the road to eradication, Bill Gates on Monday will declare polio his top priority and challenge world leaders to finish the job before the disease roars back.

Smart Power

USAID, State Eye Performance Incentives for QDDR’s Implementation (Ma. Rizza Leonzon – DEVEX)

What measures have the State Department and U.S. Agency for International Development put in place to ensure that aid reforms outlined in the Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review will be implemented? According to Anne-Marie Slaughter, the departing policy planning chief at the State Department, the two are employing performance-based incentives to encourage effective aid practices on the ground.

Gates Says Foreign Aid Needed for Global Stability (Robert A. Guth – WSJ)

Philanthropist Bill Gates Monday called for governments to continue investing in foreign aid, saying that failure to do so would destabilize the world. In an annual letter he has written the beginning of each of the last three years, Mr. Gates promoted the key initiatives he is pursuing as co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the world’s largest private philanthropy.

Politics/Foreign Policy

GOP seeks to slash foreign aid (David Rogers – Politico)

Egypt’s turmoil is a stark reminder of how hard it is to freeze any foreign policy in place — let alone roll back the State Department’s budget to three years ago. But that’s very much the threat facing President Barack Obama as the new House Republican majority proposes to lump his State and foreign aid requests with “nonsecurity” domestic spending and to cut appropriations to 2008 levels.

US Aid to Egypt Depends on Events (Suzanne Presto – VOA)

U.S. officials say there are no plans to cut off aid to Egypt.  But they caution that aid will be reviewed as events unfold, indicating that the Egyptian government’s actions going forward might jeopardize U.S. assistance.  The bulk of USAID and State Department aid to Egypt goes toward security spending.  A State Department official said Monday that the United States makes no apologies for helping to bolster Egypt’s security.

Obama’s Spending Freeze to Spare Foreign Affairs Budget, Says Official (Ma. Rizza Leonzon – DEVEX)

A proposed five-year spending freeze announced by U.S. President Barack Obama in his Jan. 25 State of the Union address will likely exclude the country’s foreign affairs budget, according to a U.S. official.   The proposed freeze on nonsecurity, discretionary spending “is the guidance for all departments, and so our budgets going forward will reflect that we clearly are very keen to preserve our foreign affairs funding in order to be best able to advance U.S. interests,” U.S. National Security Council spokesman Mike Hammer said in a Jan. 27 press briefing.