Appropriations Committee Approves Fiscal Year 2021 State and Foreign Operations Funding Bill
WASHINGTON — The House Appropriations Committee today approved the fiscal year 2021 State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs bill on a vote of 29 to 21. The legislation funds the Department of State, the United States Agency for International Development, and other international programs and activities.
In total, the bill provides $65.87 billion in funding, an increase of $8.467 billion above the FY 2020 enacted level and $21.158 billion above the request. This includes $10.018 billion in emergency funding for coronavirus preparedness, response, and relief globally; $47.85 billion in base discretionary funding for the State Department, USAID, commissions and related agencies under the jurisdiction of the subcommittee; and $8 billion in Overseas Contingency Operations/Global War on Terrorism (OCO/GWOT) funding for base requirements that otherwise would not be funded in the President’s budget request.
“The fiscal year 2021 State and Foreign Operations appropriations bill rejects the President’s ‘go-it-alone’ approach to foreign policy and expresses the Committee’s concerns about timely obligation and prudent expenditures. It provides greater distinction between short-term diplomatic, political initiatives and long-term investments in development for which unexpected events should not trigger the conditioning of aid,” said House Appropriations Subcommittee on State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs Chairwoman Nita M. Lowey. “And, to ensure the COVID-19 pandemic does not derail decades of development gains, the bill provides $3.8 billion for development assistance, including $975 million to increase access to basic education, of which at least $150 million must be spent on girls’ education in areas of conflict.”
The following amendments to the bill were adopted by the full Committee:
Rep. Lowey #1 – The manager’s amendment makes technical and noncontroversial changes to the bill and report. The amendment was adopted by voice vote.
Rep. Rogers #3, cosponsored by Rep. Granger – The amendment renames federal funding for international basic education as the “Nita M. Lowey Basic Education Fund.” The amendment was adopted by voice vote.
Rep. Lowey #2 – The amendment strikes the Secretary of State’s authority to suspend assistance to West Bank and Gaza based on a determination, and makes clear that not less than $225 million shall be provided for development and humanitarian assistance to the Palestinian people in the West Bank and Gaza. The amendment was adopted by voice vote.
Rep. Cuellar – The amendment provides $250,000 for additional staffing and resources for the International Boundary and Water Commission (IBWC) to review lease compliance and work with lessees in a grazing lease program on floodplain property at the U.S.-Mexico border. The amendment provides an additional $250,000 to process public input and determine the best use of this land in the interests of the federal government and the environment. The amendment was adopted by voice vote.