March 22, 2012

International Affairs Budget Update, 3-21-12

House Budget Committee’s Budget Resolution Cuts FY13 International Affairs Spending by 11%

The House Budget Committee began debate today on the FY13 Budget Resolution, with its deliberations expected to last well into the evening.  As we reported yesterday, Chairman Ryan’s funding recommendation for the International Affairs Budget is a noticeable improvement from the $32 billion base level in last year’s budget resolution but still far below the President’s $48 billion request level.  Although the Committee has not issued official discretionary spending levels for individual accounts, all indications are that International Affairs receives $40.9 billion in base funding and $8.2 billion for Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO).  This total FY13 level of $49.1 billion would represent a troubling 11% cut from current levels and 13% from the President’s request.

As part of its ten-year target of cutting spending by $40 trillion, Chairman Ryan’s blueprint assumes that the International Affairs Budget will continue to decline through FY16 before beginning to grow slightly over the next six years.  Even so, by FY22 the Committee projects that the International Affairs Budget would remain below current (FY12) levels.

USGLC issued a press release today expressing opposition to these budget cuts.  “Cuts to the International Affairs Budget will leave hot spots around the world unaddressed,” said General Mike Hagee, USMC (Ret.), co-chair of the USGLC’s National Security Advisory Council.  “It is to our nation’s economic and political advantage to adequately resource development and diplomatic operations in order to remain properly engaged in world affairs.  Not only does this type of engagement enhance economic development it is also a highly cost-effective way to help prevent conflicts that may require us to put our brave men and women in uniform into harm’s way.”

We’ll provide details later this week on the final Committee-approved budget resolution, in advance of House floor consideration of the bill next week.  Be sure to check our Action Center for all the tools you need to voice your opposition to the International Affairs cuts in the FY13 budget resolution.