July 26, 2013

International Affairs Budget Update, 7-26-13

This week the House and Senate Appropriations Committees reported out their FY14 State-Foreign Operations Appropriations bills, taking dramatically different approaches in both the total amount of funding provided and the prioritization of programs.

To start with, the Senate appropriations bill for State-Foreign Operations is $10 billion above the House level.  The Senate provides $50.6 billion for State-Foreign Operations, including $44.1 billion for base programs and $6.5 billion for Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO).  These levels in the Senate measure are about the same as current sequestered levels and 2% below the President’s request.  Overall, the Senate bill provides funds at or near the FY14 request for most accounts, but with significant increases (+$1.63 billion) for humanitarian programs and sharp reductions (-$1.97 billion) for agency operations and assistance in the Frontline States of Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Iraq.

In contrast, the $40.6 billion House bill – $34.1 billion for the base and $6.5 billion for OCO – falls 19.9% below current post-sequestration spending and 21.4% under the President’s FY14 request.  The House measure concentrates and prioritizes funds in three areas: diplomatic security, global health, and security assistance.  For nearly all other accounts and activities, the House plan makes deep cuts, particularly for multilateral programs.

Snapshot: Major Differences between House and Senate Bills



Embassy Security: 0.6% difference USAID Operating Expenses:  12.2% difference
Security Assistance: 0.6% difference Development Assistance: 20.2% difference
Global Health: 3.3% difference Economic Support Fund: 34.8% difference
Millennium Challenge Corporation: 21.9% difference
Humanitarian Assistance:  35.6% difference
Int’l Organization Contributions: 58.8% difference
Peacekeeping: 15.4% difference
Int’l Financial Institutions:  63.9% difference

Markup Details
The House Appropriations Committee Wednesday approved its FY14 bill by voice vote after voting down several amendments offered by Committee Democrats to restore funding for several accounts. These amendments included:

  • An amendment offered by Representative Adam Schiff (D-CA) to fully fund the International Organizations and Programs account;
  • An amendment offered by Representative Mike Honda (D-CA) to fully fund the Contributions to International Peacekeeping Activities account and allow for an increase in the assessed UN peacekeeping rate paid by the U.S. to the UN;
  • An amendment offered by Representative Debbie Wasserman-Schultz (D-FL) to increase funding for several International Financial Institutions; and
  • Amendments offered by Representatives Rosa DeLauro (D-CT), Barbara Lee (D-CA) and Nita Lowey (D-NY) to restore funding for the UN Population Fund (UNFPA).

The Committee adopted three amendments:

  • A manager’s amendment offered by Chairwoman Kay Granger (R-TX) concerning several miscellaneous issues;
  • An amendment offered by Representative Jack Kingston (R-GA) that would withhold a portion of Secretary Kerry’s salary until the State Department submits a plan regarding the recommendations of a July 2013 report by the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR); and
  • An amendment offered by Representative Barbara Lee (D-CA) to ensure that the development and implementation of PEPFAR country ownership plans take into account the capabilities and unique circumstances of each country.

The Senate Appropriations Committee approved the measure yesterday morning by a vote of 23-7, following the Subcommittee’s approval on Tuesday by voice vote.  Seven of the Committee’s 14 Republicans voted in favor of the measure: Senators Thad Cochran (R-MS), Susan Collins (R-ME), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Mark Kirk (R-IL), Roy Blunt (R-MO), and Jerry Moran (R-KS).

During the markup, adopted amendments included:

  • An amendment offered by Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) to permanently eliminate the Mexico City Policy/Global Gag Rule (agreed to 19-11);
  • An amendment offered by Senator Graham to direct the Secretary of State, in consultation with congressional leaders, to consider sanctions against any country that grants asylum to NSA leaker Edward Snowden (agreed to by voice vote);
  • An amendment offered by Senator Pat Leahy (D-VT) to allow U.S. funding for helping the International Criminal Court pursue Lord’s Resistance Army head Joseph Kony, Sudanese President Omar Al-Bashir and Syrian strongman Bashar al-Assad (agreed to 17-12); and
  • An amendment offered by Senator Mary Landrieu (D-LA) to provide funding to the World Heritage Committee, an entity under the purview of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) (agreed to 19-11).

Click here for a detailed analysis of the House and Senate bills.