New Numbers Out Today

May 11, 2011 By Melissa Silverman

Today, the House Appropriations Committee will release its subcommittee funding levels, known as 302(b) allocations for the Fiscal Year 2012 budget. These funding levels, which will be released for each of the 12 spending bills, including State-Foreign Operations, are expected to be formally adopted at the first full Appropriations Committee markup later this month. The 302(b) allocation for the International Affairs Budget is expected to be close to the House budget resolution’s total of $41.0 billion, an 18% cut from FY11 levels. On the Senate side, the Budget Committee has postponed its markup of the unreleased Senate budget resolution for several weeks. Stay tuned to the USGLC Budget Center for a full analysis of the 302(b) allocations and what they mean for the International Affairs Budget. Also this week, Bill Gates announced a challenge, encouraging supporters to use social media to draw attention to farming families in the developing world and the important role they play in cutting hunger and poverty.  Click here to read more about the challenge.

Must Reads
Who’s In the News

John Kerry headed to Pakistan (Jennifer Epstein – Politico)

Sen. John Kerry is headed to Pakistan in hopes of mending relations with the government that have become increasingly frayed since the U.S. raid over the last week.  Kerry will be the first U.S. official to visit the country since the raid on Osama bin Laden’s compound.

Smart Power

House-Passed Bill Would Require Report on Effectiveness of U.S. Aid to Haiti (Alexander C. Hart, CQ)

The House passed, by voice vote Tuesday, a bill to assess U.S. relief efforts in the wake of last year’s earthquake in Haiti. The bill (HR 1016) would require the Obama administration to make a report within six months to evaluate progress made in repairing damage, upgrading the country’s water and sanitation systems, and protecting refugees. It also would require the administration to assess whether Haiti can manage taking back citizens who illegally migrated to the United States after the Jan. 12, 2010, earthquake.

Aid and Osama bin Laden – are political cuts to aid ever justified? (Claire Provost and Jaz Cummins – The Guardian)

There is nothing new about donors being pressured to, or threatening, to cut foreign aid to developing countries that plan to implement controversial domestic policies. But is such a move ever justified?

Politics/Foreign Policy
President to renew Muslim outreach (Jay Solomon and Carol E. Lee – the Wall Street Journal)

President Barack Obama is preparing a fresh outreach to the Muslim world in coming days, senior U.S. officials say, one that will ask those in the Middle East and beyond to reject Islamic militancy in the wake of Osama bin Laden’s death and embrace a new era of relations with the U.S.

U.S., China reach ‘milestone’ agreement on security, economic policy (Howard Schneider and Mary Beth Sheridan – the Washington Post)

The United States and China on Tuesday pledged to deepen their cooperation on economic and military matters, setting aside a year of tension over issues such as arms sales to Taiwan and the value of China’s currency with what officials referred to as a “milestone” agreement.  Ending two days of high-level talks in Washington, the two sides agreed that their top military leaders would meet regularly in what has been dubbed the “Strategic Security Dialogue.”

Haiti’s Continuing Cholera Outbreak (the New York Times)

The fact that the disease is still spreading is a reminder of how much more help Haiti needs and the consequences of continued neglect.

US aid efforts in Libya (Voice of America)

The United States continues to provide much needed aid to the Libyan people and to those affected by the conflict in Libya.  To date, the U.S. has committed $53.5 million in humanitarian assistance.