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Bloated State and Foreign Operations Appropriations Bill Passes Subcommittee


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, June 30, 2010 -

Bloated State and Foreign Operations Appropriations Bill Passes Subcommittee
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The House Appropriations Subcommittee on State and Foreign Operations today approved legislation to fund federal agencies under its jurisdiction for the 2011 fiscal year. This legislation, at $52.6 billion, is $4 billion or 8 percent above last year. This comes on top of a significant increase in the bill for fiscal year 2010.
 
House Appropriations Ranking Republican Jerry Lewis expressed serious concerns over the level of spending in the bill, as well as various policy provisions.
 
“Last year, this legislation received a whopping 33% increase. This year, it’s another 8 percent. It seems this Democrat majority simply does not understand the seriousness of the massive levels of deficit and debt that – if left unchecked – will spiral this country into a permanent recession,” Lewis said.
 
In addition, Lewis stated that the mark-up of this bill today took place without the direction of a budget resolution, or even a “deeming” measure that sets top-line spending for the next fiscal year. This means that decisions regarding the legislation were made without knowledge of how this bill affects overall spending and budget levels.
 
“For the fourth time, the Democrat majority has marked-up an Appropriations bill without providing any insight into how much they intend to spend in the next fiscal year. How long are they going to continue to approve spending bills, without telling the American people how much they are adding to the taxpayers tab?” Lewis asked, “Our constituents are demanding that we take immediate action to stop the spending spree that has been the hallmark of this Democrat Congress over the last three years. It is past time we heed their call.”
 
Republicans offered several amendments to address the concerns regarding spending in the bill and other important items. These amendments included:
 
1.)    Rep. Rehberg (R-MT) offered an amendment to cut the total of the bill by $4 billion, which would freeze the overall spending at last year’s level.
 
The amendment was defeated by subcommittee Democrats on a vote of 5-8.
 
Subcommittee Chair Lowey (D-NY), Rep. Jackson (D-IL), Rep. Schiff (D-CA), Rep. Israel (D-NY), Rep. Rothman (D-NJ), Rep. Lee (D-CA), Rep. Moran (D-VA), and Chairman Obey (D-WI) all voted to oppose the amendment.
Subcommittee Ranking Member Granger (R-TX), Rep. Kirk (R-IL), Rep. Crenshaw (R-FL), Rep. Rehberg (R-MT), and Ranking Member Lewis (R-CA) all voted in favor of the amendment.
 
2.)    Rep. Crenshaw (R-FL) offered an amendment to limit U.S. contributions to certain international funds at the World Bank to 33% of total contributions. The United States cannot continue to provide large levels of funding for multilateral programs, without significant contributions from international partners – especially when our nation faces unprecedented deficits and debt. The amendment would help prevent large, open-ended funding commitments – paid for by future congresses.
 
The amendment was accepted on a voice vote.
 
3.)    Rep. Crenshaw (R-FL) offered an amendment to put limits on the transfer of detainees to countries other than the U.S. This amendment is virtually identical to language that passed the House in the Defense Authorization bill.
 
The amendment was accepted on a voice vote.
4.)    Subcommittee Ranking Member Granger (R-TX) offered an amendment that would stop future bailouts of the Inter-American Development Bank, and ensure that future debt relief for Haiti will not be needed.
 
The amendment was accepted on a voice vote.
 
5.)    Subcommittee Ranking Member Granger offered an amendment to end risky bailouts to unstable foreign countries by requiring that the Department of Treasury evaluate all loan proposals to the IMF for a country whose debt ratio to GDP is 60% or higher. If Treasury determines that a loan cannot be repaid before all other creditor and in full, then the Secretary must instruct the U.S. representative on the IMF board to vote no on approval of the loan.
 
 
The amendment was accepted by a voice vote.

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