With yesterday’s approval of the FY20 Agriculture Appropriations bill, the House Appropriations Committee has completed work on the three spending bills that fund the International Affairs Budget – the State-Foreign Operations, Agriculture, and...
House passes the Global Fragility Act (H.R. 2116) introduced by Reps. Eliot Engel (D-NY) and Michael McCaul (R-TX), which would ensure effective use of U.S. foreign assistance to target the drivers of fragility and enhance stability in priority countries and regions.
This week, the House Appropriations Committee approved its FY20 State-Foreign Operations (SFOPS) bill, setting it up for a potential vote on the House floor this summer. As previously mentioned, the bill provides $56.4 billion for SFOPS split between $48.4 billion in base and $8 billion in Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO) funding. This is a 4% ($2.2 billion) increase compared to the FY19 enacted level.
Marking the official kick-off of the FY20 appropriations cycle, this week the House Appropriations Committee approved topline spending levels, or 302(b) allocations, for all twelve FY20 spending bills – including for the State-Foreign Operations (SFOPS) bill, which funds the vast majority of the International Affairs Budget.
The budget resolution does not specify how the proposed spending reductions would be distributed across federal agencies – including the State Department and USAID. However, if the 9% cut were applied across the board, base funding for the...
Capping off months of tense negotiations between the White House and Congressional leaders – including a standoff over border security funding that resulted in a historic 35-day partial government shutdown – Congress passed a compromise spending package for FY19 that will keep the government open through September 30, 2019.
Reflecting the strong bipartisan support on Capitol Hill for America’s global engagement, the FY19 International Affairs Budget is funded at $56.1 billion – a slight increase of $193 million (0.3%) compared to FY18.
After several failed votes in the Senate yesterday to end the partial government shutdown, now in its 35th day, Congress and the White House today reached a short-term deal to reopen the government for three weeks while negotiations over border wall funding continue. The Senate quickly approved the short-term Continuing Resolution (CR), which would restore funding at current levels through February 15 and allow federal employees – including the workforce of our civilian international affairs agencies – to go back to work. The House is expected to follow suit later today. It remains to be seen whether this temporary reprieve will result in a long-term solution to fund the government through the end of the fiscal year. The USGLC is monitoring the situation closely and will send updates as appropriate.
Also, in recent days, both the House and Senate released the text of six appropriations bills that reflect bipartisan agreements reached late last year to finalize FY19 spending. While these bills are unlikely to become law until a long-term deal is struck on the border wall issue, they could become part of a broader agreement to finalize FY19 spending once and for all.
When it comes to the FY19 International Affairs Budget, the agreement struck by Congressional negotiators not only rejects the deep and disproportionate cuts proposed by the Administration, but also slightly increases funding by $193 million (0.3%) compared to current levels. Specifically, the International Affairs Budget receives a total of $56.1 billion, split between $48.1 billion in base and $8 billion in Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO) funding.
With House lawmakers heading home for the midterms, Congress passed a Continuing Resolution this week that extends government funding until after the November elections. The CR – which was attached to the Defense and Labor/Health and Human Services/Education appropriations “minibus” – funds the International Affairs Budget at FY18 enacted levels through December 7. This week Congress also took action on bipartisan legislation, including the BUILD Act, to strengthen America’s foreign assistance programs.
The Administration is readying a proposal to rescind or cancel up to several billion dollars in congressionally approved funding for America’s development and diplomacy programs. Such an effort – targeting no more than 0.07% of the federal budget – is widely seen as a political move to draw down overseas resources leading up to the midterm election. The Administration’s proposal could be sent to Capitol Hill as soon as next week – just one month before the end of the fiscal year – though we understand legal, legislative, and political concerns may mean the Administration presses pause on the effort.