July 8, 2020

House Appropriators Unveil FY21 State-Foreign Operations Appropriations Bill

1. House Appropriators Unveil FY21 State-Foreign Operations Appropriations Bill

Marking the official kick-off of the FY21 appropriations cycle, yesterday the House State-Foreign Operations (SFOPS) Appropriations Subcommittee approved its FY21 SFOPS bill by voice vote.
House Appropriators provided a total of $65.9 billion for SFOPS, including:

  • $55.9 billion in non-emergency discretionary funding, of which $47.9 billion is base and $8 billion is Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO) funding
  • $10 billion in emergency funding for the COVID-19 response

While the overall total reflects a 15% ($8.5 billion) increase compared to the FY20 enacted level and is nearly 50% ($21.9 billion) above the Administration’s FY21 budget request, when emergency COVID-19 funding is excluded the increase is a more modest 2% ($1.2 billion).

State-Foreign Operations (SFOPS) Budget Snapshot

FY20 Enacted FY21 Request FY21 House
Base $46.7 billion $44.0 billion $47.9 billion
OCO $8.0 billion $0 $8.0 billion
Subtotal $54.7 billion $44.0 billion $55.9 billion
Emergency Funding $2.7 billion NA $10 billion
Total $57.4 billion $44.0 billion $65.9 billion

USGLC released a statement welcoming the House Appropriations Committee’s commitment to America’s development and diplomacy programs by providing an increase in annual funding as well as $10 billion in emergency FY21 funding for the international response to COVID-19.

At the same time, we cannot lose sight of the immediate and urgent needs to address this pandemic threat. That is why it will be critical for Congress to prioritize emergency FY20 resources in any upcoming supplemental as well as in FY21 spending bills.

Select Highlights

We will share more details when the House Appropriations Committee releases its report to accompany the spending bill, but the bill text and committee summary provide some important detail on funding levels for specific programs and accounts.

Non-Emergency Funding
For the fourth year in a row, the House SFOPS bill rejects the Administration’s proposal to slash funding for nearly all international affairs programs – restoring, and often increasing, investments in these programs.

  • Development and Economic Assistance: The House bill rejects the Administration’s request to consolidate Development Assistance (DA) and the Economic Support Fund (ESF) into a new Economic Support and Development Fund (ESDF) along with its proposed funding cuts. Instead, the bill increases Development Assistance by 12% ($399 million) and ESF by 13% ($400 million) compared to FY20 enacted levels.
  • Global Health: The bill increases funding for Global Health Programs by 0.7% ($65 million) compared to the FY20 enacted level – a stark contrast to the Administration’s proposal to cut overall funding for these programs by 34% ($3.1 billion).
  • Humanitarian Assistance: The House bill holds funding for humanitarian assistance at the FY20 enacted level of $7.8 billion. The Administration had proposed to cut humanitarian assistance by 20% ($1.6 billion).
  • Peacekeeping: Compared to the FY20 enacted level, the House bill reduces funding for UN Peacekeeping by 5% ($70 million) to $1.5 billion, while holding flat funding for non-UN peacekeeping programs at $457 million.
  • UN and Other International Organizations: The House bill increases funding for U.S. assessed contributions to the UN and other international organizations by 2% ($32 million) compared to the FY20 enacted level. The bill also maintains the FY20 funding level of $391 million for the International Organization and Programs (IO&P) account, which covers voluntary contributions.
  • International Financial Institutions (IFIs): Funding for U.S. contributions to the World Bank and other IFIs sees a 2% ($41 million) increase in the House bill compared to the FY20 enacted level.
  • U.S. International Development Finance Corporation (DFC): The House bill includes $313 million for administrative and other costs for the DFC, a 3% ($12 million) increase compared to the FY20 enacted level.
  • Agencies Slated for Elimination: The House bill soundly rejects the Administration’s proposed elimination of five agencies.
    • East-West Center: The House bill increases funding to $19.7 million, 18% ($3 million) more than the FY20 enacted level.
    • African Development Foundation: The House bill provides $33 million – equivalent to the FY20 enacted level.
    • Asia Foundation: The bill provides $20 million, a modest 5% ($1 million) increase compared to the FY20 enacted level.
    • Inter-American Foundation: The House bill includes $41.5 million, a 11% ($4 million) increase compared to the FY20 enacted level.
    • U.S. Trade and Development Agency (USTDA): The House bill maintains the FY20 enacted level of $79.5 million.

Emergency COVID-19 Response Funding
The bill provides $10 billion to “prevent, prepare for, and respond to” COVID-19, which is not subject to discretionary spending caps for FY21 because it is designated as “emergency” resource needs. This includes:

  • Diplomatic Programs ($955 million): To provide for evacuation expenses, emergency preparedness, consular operations, and other operations and maintenance requirements related to the consequences of coronavirus.
  • Global Health Programs ($2.5 billion): For critical global health and pandemic response, including contributions to GAVI, the Vaccine Alliance and the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.
  • Economic Support Fund ($1.5 billion): To address economic and stabilization efforts in affected countries.
  • International Disaster Assistance ($1.1 billion): To support USAID’s disaster response capabilities in developing countries impacted by the pandemic.
  • Migration and Refugee Assistance ($1.1 billion): To help prepare for and respond to the spread of COVID-19 among vulnerable refugee populations around the world.
  • International Organizations and Programs ($1.3 billion): To support multilateral efforts to combat COVID-19, including the United Nations Global Humanitarian Response Plan to COVID–19.

Other Notable Provisions
The House bill includes strong language focused on oversight, accountability, and impoundment:

  • Includes language extending the availability of expiring funds for 90 days if Congress receives a rescission proposal within 90 days of the end of the fiscal year and does not act on the proposal within that timeframe.
  • Includes language to restore State Department and USAID Civil Service and Foreign Service staffing to FY16 levels.

2. International Food Aid Sees Slight Increase in House FY21 Agriculture Appropriations Bill

Yesterday, the House Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee approved its FY21 Agriculture spending bill by voice vote. The bill once again rejects the Administration’s proposal to eliminate two critical international food aid programs, increasing funding for these programs above the FY20 enacted levels at a time when global hunger is on the rise. Specifically:

  • $1.78 billion for Food for Peace, a 3% ($50 million) increase compared to the FY20 enacted level.
  • $235 million for the McGovern-Dole International Food for Education and Child Nutrition Program, an increase of 7% ($15 million) compared to the FY20 enacted level.

Agriculture Appropriations International Programs Snapshot

FY20 Enacted FY21 Request FY21 House
Food for Peace/PL 480 Title II $1.73 billion $0 $1.78 billion
McGovern-Dole $220 million $0 $235 million
Total $1.95 billion $0 $2.01 billion