In February 2018, the USGLC released an analysis on the Administration’s “Groundhog Budget”, which for the second year in a row proposed to dangerously slash the International Affairs Budget. Fast forward to June—just a few months into the appropriations process on Capitol Hill—and a much brighter picture has emerged thanks to the strong bipartisan support for development and diplomacy programs among Members of Congress.
The House and Senate Appropriations Committees approved topline funding levels (known as 302(b) allocations) that help ensure our nation’s civilian tools can deliver results for the American people. The Senate approved a modest increase (0.7%) for the total FY19 International Affairs Budget compared to current levels. Funding in the House is down just slightly (0.4%), largely due to a cut to Food for Peace (PL 480, Title II).
While down from the high-water mark of FY17, these topline funding levels are significant when you consider that the bipartisan budget deal approved by Congress earlier this year allowed only for limited additional resources in FY19, and included a $4 billion cut to Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO) funding for the International Affairs Budget.
Compared to the Administration’s request, the House and Senate generally provide more funding for the various agencies and accounts funded through the International Affairs Budget. Both bills provide more funding for global health, humanitarian assistance, economic and development assistance, UN Peacekeeping, Diplomatic and Embassy Security, International Financial Institutions, and USAID operating expenses. They also generally reject the Administration’s proposals to eliminate a number of smaller international affairs agencies.
USGLC applauds Congress for rejecting the Administration’s proposed deep cuts to the International Affairs Budget in FY19 and for its strong, bipartisan support for America’s development and diplomacy programs. As work begins to finalize FY19 spending bills, USGLC urges Congress to agree to—at a minimum—the Senate funding level for the FY19 International Affairs Budget, which moves closer to providing the resources needed to address today’s growing global threats.
Download the full report to get our analysis of the similarities and differences between the Administration’s request, the House proposal, and the Senate proposal.