August 1, 2022

Senate Appropriators Propose 15% Boost for FY23 International Affairs Budget

International Affairs Budget Update
August 1, 2022

This week, the Senate Appropriations Committee released all 12 of its FY23 spending bills – including the State-Foreign Operations (SFOPS) and Agriculture bills that fund the vast majority of the International Affairs Budget.

With bipartisan negotiations on FY23 topline spending levels stalled, these bills are highly unlikely to see markups and will instead serve as a starting point for spending discussions this fall.

In total, Senate Appropriators provided $66.5 billion in non-emergency funding for the FY23 International Affairs Budget. This represents a 14.7% ($8.5 billion) increase compared to the FY22 enacted level and comes in only slightly below the level approved by the House Appropriations Committee earlier this month.

Importantly, the Senate SFOPS bill also includes an additional $5.95 billion in emergency funding – specifically:

  • $5 billion in FY22 emergency funding for the global COVID-19 response
  • $950 million in FY23 emergency funding to strengthen global health security and pandemic preparedness

International Affairs Budget Snapshot 

FY22 Enacted* FY23 Request** FY23 House FY23 Senate***
$58.0 billion $68.2 billion $66.6 billion $66.5 billion

 *Excludes $29.3 billion in primarily Ukraine and Afghanistan-related emergency funding
**Reflects CBO’s re-estimate of the Administration’s request
***Excludes $950 million in FY23 emergency funding for pandemic preparedness and $5 billion in FY22 emergency funding for the global COVID-19 response

USGLC released a statement welcoming this serious proposal to address the multitude of global challenges impacting the daily lives of American families.

As bipartisan negotiations continue on FY23 topline spending levels, USGLC urges Congress to provide no less than the Senate proposal – including emergency funding – to ensure our international affairs investments meet the urgent needs affecting America’s security and economic interests.

Select Highlights

Below are select highlights from the Senate SFOPS and Agriculture bills. Unless otherwise noted, the totals below are for non-emergency funding and are compared to FY22 enacted levels.

USGLC will soon release a comprehensive analysis comparing the House and Senate proposals alongside the Administration’s request for the FY23 International Affairs Budget.

  • Global Health: The Senate bill includes $10.5 billion in non-emergency funding for global health, a 7% ($680 million) increase. This is 1% ($67 million) less than the Administration’s FY23 request, but 4% ($467 million) less than the House-approved level. In particular, the Senate bill provides less for Global Health Security than was either requested or included in the House measure – which may reflect the Senate’s inclusion of an additional $950 million in FY23 emergency funding for pandemic preparedness.
  • Development and Economic Assistance: The Senate bill boosts funding across all development and economic assistance accounts – largely in line with the levels requested by the Administration and provided by the House. Notably, however, the increase for Assistance to Europe, Eurasia, and Central Asia (AEECA) is 14% ($134 million) less than the Administration’s FY23 request – which may be due, in part, to the significant emergency resources to support Ukraine approved by Congress in late May.
  • Humanitarian Assistance: The Senate increases humanitarian assistance by 19% ($1.3 billion). This is essentially the same level provided by the House, but 7% less than requested by the Administration – which may reflect the large amounts of emergency funding for humanitarian assistance provided in the May Ukraine supplemental.
  • International Food Assistance: Through the Agriculture Appropriations bill, Senate Appropriators provided $2.05 billion to combat global hunger and malnutrition, including $1.8 billion for Food for Peace (a 3% or $60 million increase) and $250 million for the McGovern-Dole International Food for Education and Child Nutrition Program (a 5% or $13 million increase).
  • Peacekeeping: The Senate bill increases funding for United Nations (UN) peacekeeping by 31% ($464 million) to $1.96 billion. Although this is $365 million less than Administration’s request, it is $165 million higher than the House-approved level — and sufficient to both cover the 26.9% assessed rate (as the Senate bill lifts the 25% statutory cap) for U.S. contributions to UN peacekeeping operations and pay down $365 million in arrears from prior years. The Senate bill cuts non-UN peacekeeping by 1% ($3 million), providing $12 million less than the Administration’s request and $9 million less than the House-approved level.
  • UN and Other International Organizations: The Senate bill includes a 4% ($59 million) reduction in funding for U.S. assessed contributions to the UN and other international organizations, but boosts funding for the International Organization and Programs (IO&P) account, which covers voluntary contributions, by 14% ($58 million) — almost the same amount. Combined, the total provided by the Senate for these two accounts is slightly below the level requested by the Administration and included in the House bill.
  • U.S. International Development Finance Corporation (DFC): The Senate bill increases funding for administrative expenses, program costs, and other expenses of the DFC by 43% ($305 million) and directs increased focus on countering Chinese influence in Latin America and the Caribbean. This is $25 million below the Administration’s FY23 request, but $187 million above the House-approved level.
  • International Financial Institutions (IFIs): Closely in line with the Administration’s request and House action, the Senate bill increases overall funding for U.S. contributions provided through the Treasury Department to IFIs by 119% ($2.3 billion) – with most of the additional funding going to climate-related programs.

Other Funding and Policy Priorities 

  • Climate Change and the Environment: The Senate bill provides $2.15 billion to address climate change through IFIs, including $1.6 billion for the Green Climate Fund (GCF), as requested by the Administration, and $550 million for the Clean Technology Fund. It also includes another $1.9 billion for various State Department and USAID environmental programs.
  • Democracy Promotion: The Senate bill includes $2.9 billion for democracy promotion programs, bringing spending closer to the $3 billion goal set in the Madeline K. Albright Democracy in the 21st Century Act, which was introduced by Senators Chris Coons (D-DE) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC) in December 2021. The Senate bill’s proposed funding level is consistent with the Administration’s request and $100 million above the House-approved level.
  • Personnel: The Senate bill – like the House bill – fully funds the Administration’s FY23 requests for Diplomatic Programs and USAID Operating Expenses, providing these accounts with increases of 5% ($459 million) and 7% ($107 million), respectively, from FY22. Among other things, these increases are needed to fund the Administration’s requested increases in Foreign Service Officer and other staffing.
  • Burden-Sharing: The Senate bill includes language requiring the Secretary of State to report to Congress on steps the State Department is taking to encourage allies and partners, including Persian Gulf countries, to increase their financial contributions to international humanitarian aid programs, including food assistance managed by the World Food Program.
  • Honoring Madeleine Albright: The Senate bill includes the Madeline K. Albright Women’s Leadership Program and Madeline K. Albright Fellowship Program. Both are named after former Secretary of State Albright and intended to increase leadership, political participation, and educational opportunities for women and girls. The bill includes $50 million for the Leadership Program and $1.5 million for the Fellowship Program.