May 16, 2008

Senate Appropriations Marks-Up Supplemental Bill; House Approves $9.9 Billion for International Affairs Budget

On Thursday, May 15, the Senate Appropriations Committee marked-up its version of the Supplemental bill. In a surprise move, the committee approved two amendments reducing Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) funds by $525 million as an offset for current supplemental funding, $225 million  for disaster relief to Burma and $300 million to increase ESF and FMF funding to Jordan. A total of 20 amendments were adopted increasing domestic spending by $1.1 billion, bringing overall supplemental funding to over $194 billion, well above the President’s request of $183.8 billion. The committee approved the same level of funding for the International Affairs Budget as the House – $9.9 billion – including $500 million more for international food aid for FY08. The Committee also approved $168.9 billion for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, $6.4 billion above the proposed House level.

As expected, the House voted on three amendments in considering its version of the war supplemental. By a vote of 256 to 166, the House approved an amendment to the FY08 and FY09 Supplemental Appropriations bill for non-war spending that includes an additional $9.9 billion for the International Affairs Budget. The funding level is $500 million above the Administration’s request and over half of the funds are earmarked to support State Department and USAID activities in Iraq and Afghanistan. Click here for further details on program allocations. The White House announced that it would veto the House measure based on the new tax provisions included to off set more domestic spending and the policy riders related to the war in Iraq.