March 14, 2008

Senate Adopts Biden-Lugar Amendment; House Passes Budget Resolution

In an extraordinary show of support, the Senate approved the Biden-Lugar Amendment to the Concurrent Budget Resolution by an impressive vote of 73 to 23 restoring a $4.1 billion cut to the International Affairs Budget approved last week by the Senate Budget Committee. Approval of the Biden-Lugar Amendment restores funding to the Administration’s request level of $39.8 billion. This funding level also represents a $1.5 billion increase over the $38.3 billion funding level approved by the House. Following consideration of over 80 amendments, the Senate approved its version of the FY09 Concurrent Budget Resolution by a vote of 51 to 44. The USGLC applauds the leadership of the Senators who voted in support of the Biden-Lugar Amendment.

By a vote of 212 to 207, the House approved the FY09 Concurrent Budget Resolution which provides $38.3 billion in funding for the International Affairs budget, $1.5 billion below the Administration’s request and Senate approved level of $39.8 billion. As expected, the House rejected three substitute budgets proposed by the Republican Caucus, Congressional Black Caucus and Congressional Progressive Caucus. The Senate and House will adjourn for a two-week recess. When Congress returns, a House-Senate Budget conference committee is expected to convene during the first week of April to resolve differences between the two bills. The USGLC will be vigorously urging the conferees to support the full $39.8 billion for the International Affairs Budget.