July 27, 2011
Yesterday the House State-Foreign Operations Appropriations Subcommittee released its FY12 State-Foreign Operations Appropriations Bill, which includes deep cuts to the International Affairs Budget. The Subcommittee will mark up the bill this morning at 10:00 a.m. in H-140 of the Capitol. The $47.2 billion measure, authored by Committee Chairwoman Kay Granger (R-TX), includes $39.6 billion for non-war related “core” State Department, USAID and other programs, and $7.6 billion for Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Iraq within the Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO) account.
While the bill fully funds the President’s OCO request for the Frontline States, with some new restrictions on this assistance, it contains dramatic reductions to many non-war related programs. Overall, non-OCO accounts are cut $5 billion (-11%) below FY11 levels and an alarming $9.7 billion (-20%) below FY10 levels. Bearing the brunt of these cuts are State and USAID operations and multilateral and development assistance. Specific cuts, as detailed below, range between 16% and 35% below current funding (FY11) levels. Additional areas of impact include the Millennium Challenge Corporation, Feed the Future, U.S. Institute of Peace, and others as detailed below.
USGLC released a press statement expressing serious concern about the impact of these deeply disproportionate cuts to America’s development and diplomacy capabilities, highlighting the calls from America’s top business and military leaders for a strong and effective International Affairs Budget. Today’s Subcommittee markup is expected to be somewhat pro forma, as members on both sides are expected to hold off on offering amendments until the full Committee markup, currently scheduled for next Wednesday.
On a related matter, following last week’s House Foreign Affairs Committee’s passage of its FY12 State Department-Foreign Relations Authorization Bill, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton sent a letter to Committee members criticizing the bill for its restrictive language on foreign assistance spending and warned she would urge the President to veto it if it reaches his desk.
Highlights of the House’s State-Foreign Operations Bill
Multilateral Assistance Cut; Replenishments Not Funded: The bill cuts multilateral assistance by $803 million (-35%) from FY11 and by nearly $2.2 billion (-59%) from the President’s FY12 request.
State Department and USAID Operational Capacity in Question: Operation expenses for both the State Department and USAID are substantially reduced. While the full dimension of the impact is hard to fully assess at present, the possibility of a staff furlough would seem possible for both State and USAID.
Development Assistance Programs, Including Feed the Future, Cut: The Development Assistance account, through which most bilateral aid to low-income countries flows for agriculture education, water and sanitation, microenterprise, and the environment activities, is reduced to $2.07 billion, 18% less than FY2011 and 29% under the request.
Global Health Reduced But Limited Details on Activity Allocations: Although avoiding the size of cuts made in other areas of the bill, Global Health – another major initiative of the Administration’s – would face cuts of 9% compared with FY11 and 18% compared with the FY12 request. The bill, however, includes few details of Subcommittee priorities in the health area making it difficult to assess exactly these reductions would be applied. Policy provisions related to global health include:
Humanitarian Aid: At a time when the world is focused on the growing famine and the potential devastating human tragedy in Somalia, Kenya, and Ethiopia, the House Subcommittee bill slashes both State-Foreign Operations accounts that address such disasters.
Security Assistance and Democracy Programs Largely Protected: In contrast to most other areas of the bill, several security assistance and democracy promotion accounts are funded at or near FY11 levels.
Impact on Other Selected Accounts
Oversight and Management
The bill takes several steps to increase transparency and accountability of foreign assistance dollars, including assessments, certifications and annual reporting requirements for direct government assistance as well as fully funding agency Inspector Generals. It also limits how long funds are available and requires tougher reporting requirements on spent funds, and it requires the Administration to justify to Congress any multi-year funding commitments before announcing them publicly.
FY12 International Affairs Budget Snapshot
(as of 07/26/11)
|Comparison of Base Request|
|International Affairs 150 Account*|
|FY2012 House (core)||$ 40.83 billion|
|FY2012 Request (core)||$ 52.95 billion|
|FY 2011 Enacted (core)**||$ 46.23 billion|
|House Decrease from FY12 Request||-$ 12.12 billion (22.9% cut)|
|Foreign Operations Account|
|FY2012 House (core)||$ 28.00 billion|
|FY2012 Request (core)||$ 35.82 billion|
|FY 2011 Enacted**||NA|
|House Decrease from FY12 Request||-$ 7.82 billion (21.8% cut)|
|State Department Operations & Related Accounts|
|FY2012 House (core)||$ 11.77 billion|
|FY2012 Request (core)||$ 14.84 billion|
|FY 2011 Enacted (core)**||NA|
|House Decrease from FY12 Request||-$ 3.07 billion (20.7% cut)|
|International Agriculture Programs|
|FY2012 House||$ 1.23 billion|
|FY2012 Request||$ 1.90 billion|
|FY 2011 Enacted||$ 1.70 billion|
|House Decrease from FY12 Request||-$0.67 billion (35.3% cut)|
* International Affairs totals also include about $85 million appropriated in the Treasury spending bill for the International Trade Commission and the Foreign Claims Settlement Commission. These amounts are included in the totals shown here. There is also $300 million for the Global Fund to Fight HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria, included in the Labor-HHS bill. Since that bill has not been released, the $300 million for the Global Fund has been removed from the totals.
** All figures for FY2011 core funding levels are estimates. Consultations between Congress and the Administration over the specific allocations for FY2011, including OCO amounts, have not been completed. As results, no estimates have been made for Foreign Operations and State Operations regarding the core and OCO amounts.