September 24, 2019
1. Senate Appropriators Unveil FY20 State-Foreign Operations Bill
This week, the Senate Appropriations Committee released its FY20 State-Foreign Operations (SFOPS) bill – bypassing the traditional committee markup process in a failed attempt to bring the bill straight to the Senate floor. As previously mentioned, the Senate SFOPS bill is funded at $55 billion, including $47 billion in base and $8 billion in Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO).
Adding in funding for international food aid and assuming the FY20 Commerce-Justice-Science Appropriations bill holds funding flat for international programs, the Senate provides a total of $56.8 billion for the FY20 International Affairs Budget, a 1.4% ($766 million) increase compared to the FY19 enacted level.
International Affairs Budget Snapshot
|FY19 Enacted||FY20 Request*||FY20 House||FY20 Senate**|
|Base||$48.1 billion||$43.3 billion||$50.4 billion||$48.8 billion|
|OCO||$8.0 billion||$0 billion||$8.0 billion||$8.0 billion|
|Total||$56.1 billion||$43.3 billion||$58.4 billion||$56.8 billion|
*CBO re-estimate of Administration’s request
** Assumes FY19 enacted levels for Function 150 CJS appropriations
Select Program Highlights
Across the board, the bill rejects the Administration’s proposal to slash funding for nearly all international affairs programs. The report accompanying the bill text includes strong language repudiating the Administration’s proposed budget cuts and recognizing “that diplomacy, development, and democracy are the first line of America’s defense abroad, and indispensable elements of smart power.”
Below are select highlights from the Senate SFOPS bill and report. Next week, USGLC will release a comprehensive analysis comparing the House and Senate proposals alongside the Administration’s request for the FY20 International Affairs Budget.
Other Notable Provisions: The Senate SFOPS bill text and accompanying report include strong language focused on oversight, accountability, and impoundment – reflecting a bipartisan commitment to reinforcing Congress’s constitutional power of the purse in the wake of a failed rescission effort this summer targeting the International Affairs Budget. The bill and report:
2. International Food Aid Funding Held Flat in Senate Agriculture Appropriations Bill
Yesterday, the Senate Appropriations Committee approved its FY20 Agriculture Appropriations bill following subcommittee approval earlier this week. For the third year in a row, the bill rejects the Administration’s proposal to eliminate two critical international food aid programs – holding their funding flat at FY19 enacted levels. Specifically, the bill provides $1.72 billion for Food for Peace and $210.3 million for the McGovern-Dole International Food for Education and Child Nutrition Program.
Agriculture Appropriations International Programs Snapshot
|FY19 Enacted||FY20 Request||FY20 House||FY20 Senate|
|Food for Peace/
PL 480 Title II
|$1.72 billion||$0||$1.85 billion||$1.72 billion|
|McGovern-Dole||$210.3 million||$0||$235 million||$210.3 million|
|Total||$1.93 billion||$0||$2.09 billion||$1.93 billion|
3. Congress on Track to Pass Short-Term CR, Avoid Government Shutdown
With just five legislative days before the end of the fiscal year and the House and Senate no closer to finalizing the twelve individual spending bills, this week the House approved a Continuing Resolution (CR) that will keep the government open through November 21st. The Senate is expected to pass the CR next week – paving the way for the President’s signature and averting a government shutdown. The CR also extends the authorizations for the Export-Import Bank and the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom through November 21st.
With a stopgap funding measure in place, negotiations between House and Senate Appropriators to finalize FY20 spending bills and the all-important 302(b) allocations will continue into the fall.