1. House Passes FY21 State-Foreign Operations Bill, Overwhelmingly Rejects Cutting Amendment
This week, the House completed work on its first four FY21 spending bills with the passage of a four-bill “minibus” that included the State-Foreign Operations (SFOPS) and Agriculture Appropriations bills. The minibus – which was approved by a vote of 224-189 – provides $65.9 billion for SFOPS, including $55.9 billion in non-emergency discretionary funding plus an additional $10 billion in emergency funding for the COVID-19 response. As previously mentioned, this is a 2% ($1.2 billion) increase compared to the FY20 enacted level when emergency COVID-19 funding is excluded.
Several amendments to the SFOPS division of the bill were debated and voted on during floor consideration of the minibus, including one by Rep. Rick Allen (R-GA) that would have cut funding for America’s development and diplomacy programs by 5% across-the-board. Appropriations Chairwoman Nita Lowey (D-NY) and Ranking Member Hal Rogers (R-KY) spoke out in opposition to the amendment, which was overwhelmingly defeated by a strong bipartisan margin of 329-88.
2. House FY21 Defense Authorization Bill Includes Bipartisan Provisions to Strengthen Development and Diplomacy
The House also passed its FY21 Defense Authorization bill this week, but not before adopting several bipartisan amendments to strengthen America’s international affairs programs – many based on bipartisan legislation introduced this Congress.
- An amendment by Reps. Gerry Connolly (D-VA) and Steve Chabot (R-OH) establishing a U.S. global health security strategy, based on their Global Health Security Act of 2019 (H.R.2166). Approved, 336-71.
- An amendment by Reps. Eliot Engel (D-NY) and Michael McCaul (R-TX) authorizing programs and activities at the State Department, based on their Department of State Authorization Act of 2019 (H.R.3352). Approved, 336-71.
- An amendment by Reps. Eliot Engel (D-NY) and Michael McCaul (R-TX) prioritizing democratic and anti-corruption efforts in the Northern Triangle region, based on their United States-Northern Triangle Enhanced Engagement Act (H.R.2615). Approved, 336-71.
- An amendment by Reps. Eliot Engel (D-NY) and Michael McCaul (R-TX) reauthorizing and strengthening the U.S. Advisory Council on Human Trafficking, based on their Leveraging Information on Foreign Traffickers (LIFT) Act (H.R.5664). Approved by voice vote.
- An amendment by Reps. Joaquin Castro (D-TX) and Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA) directing USAID to incorporate early childhood development into foreign assistance programs, based on their Global Child Thrive Act of 2019 (H.R.4864). Approved, 336-71.
- An amendment by Reps. Ted Lieu (D-CA) and Joe Wilson (R-SC) establishing an Office of Subnational Diplomacy at the State Department and authorizing city and state level foreign and civil service officers, based on their City and State Diplomacy Act (H.R.3571). Approved, 336-71.