Congress is set to vote this week on an Omnibus spending bill that will complete the FY09 Appropriations cycle roughly five months into the fiscal year. The Omnibus, which was largely settled by Appropriators in December during the 110th Congress, has been on hold pending the inauguration of President Obama and passage of the economic stimulus package. The House plans to vote on Wednesday, February 25th, on the $410 billion measure that combines nine Appropriation bills, including the International Affairs Budget. The Senate is expected to take up the bill early next week.
The Omnibus bill includes $38.2 billion for the FY09 International Affairs Budget, similar to what the House and Senate recommended last fall before Congress adjourned for the 2008 Elections. The largest component – $36.6 billion or 96% of the International Affairs Budget – is the FY09 State, Foreign Operations and Related Programs Appropriations. The $38.2 billion base FY09 International Affairs Budget represents:
- 11.3 percent or $3.9 billion increase above FY08 base funding levels;
- 4 percent or $1.6 billion decrease below the Bush Administration’s FY09 request; and
- Slight (1.3%) cut in total spending, when including FY08 and FY09 Emergency Supplementals.