State-Foreign Operations Appropriations Bill Approved by Subcommittee
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The House Appropriations Subcommittee on State and Foreign Operations today approved its funding legislation for the 2010 Fiscal Year. The subcommittee’s proposal includes a total of $48.8 billion in spending, which is $12 billion or 33% above last year’s level.
The draft bill contains funding for a variety of international and foreign assistance programs, including $1.4 billion for the Millennium Challenge Corporation to help promote security and economic growth in the developing world, $216 million for activities to fight illegal drug trafficking in Mexico, plus additional funds for Central America, and $3.41 billion in security assistance to our strategic allies such as Israel, Egypt, and Jordan. While noting that these important programs are worthy of support, House Appropriations Ranking Republican Jerry Lewis expressed concern at the massive increase in overall funding in this bill.
“Many programs in the State Foreign Operations bill are critical to our national security and foreign policy interests, and they should receive reasonable and adequate levels of funding. However, this massive, 33% increase in funding in the overall bill is totally out-of-step with the needs of our nation and the economic reality we are currently facing,” Lewis said.
Subcommittee Ranking Republican Kay Granger also indicated that with these large increases comes a greater responsibility for oversight, especially as it relates to rapidly expanding State Department and USAID programs.
“The Committee will fulfill its obligation to oversee these funds. We have many questions, and we will continue to ask them as these funds are spent,” Granger said.