Appropriations Committee Releases Fiscal Year 2014 State and Foreign Operations Bill
The House Appropriations Committee today released the fiscal year 2014 State and Foreign Operations Appropriations bill, which will be considered in subcommittee tomorrow.
The bill totals $34.1 billion in regular discretionary funding, which is $8 billion, or 19%, below the fiscal year 2013 enacted level and approximately $6 billion below the current level caused by automatic sequestration cuts. In addition, the legislation includes $6.5 billion in Overseas Contingency Operations/Global War on Terror (OCO/GWOT) for the war-related costs of operations in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan, as well as emergency stabilization and humanitarian response efforts.
In order to promote American interests abroad, the bill prioritizes funding on overseas security efforts. This includes full funding for embassy security in the wake of the terrorist attacks on United States diplomatic facilities, assistance to key foreign allies, programs to promote democracy abroad, and help for refugees and other humanitarian efforts. To meet these priorities, the bill eliminates or reduces funding to lower-priority international programs.
“We live in a time of uncertainty and instability around the globe, and it is vital to our national security and well-being that the United States maintains an active role in global affairs. However, given all of the country’s needs and fiscal realities, we must prioritize our very limited funds on only the most important international activities. This bill makes these hard choices, maintaining critical missions, diplomatic efforts, and the safety and security of Americans abroad, while cutting lower-priority programs or those that we simply cannot afford at this time,” Appropriations Chairman Hal Rogers said.
State and Foreign Operations Subcommittee Chairwoman Kay Granger said:
“Faced with billions of dollars in spending cuts, this bill focuses on national security programs that keep the United States and our allies secure, while anticipating continued change around the world. Funding is prioritized for embassy security, critical strategic partners in the Middle East and Latin America, democracy assistance, and life-saving HIV/AIDS and refugee programs. In order to meet the reduced subcommittee funding levels, some programs had to be terminated, scaled back, or put on “pause” until the United States is in a better financial position.”
The bill contains priority funding for diplomatic operations and foreign assistance activities. This includes full funding for the embassy security request in order to meet the recommendations of the Accountability Review Board’s findings after the Benghazi terrorist attack. In addition, the bill invests in security and stability activities in the Middle East – including support for our key allies such as Israel and Jordan – and efforts by Latin American countries to fight drug-trafficking and crime.
To meet these and other security priorities, as well as democracy promotion, health, and humanitarian needs, the bill excludes funding for more than 20 accounts – such as the Strategic Climate Fund and the Clean Technology Fund – and reduces funding in other lower-priority areas.
International Security Assistance – The bill provides a total of $8.5 billion in base and contingency funding for international security assistance. This is equal to the President’s request and $1 billion below the fiscal year 2013 enacted level.
This includes funds for international narcotics control, anti-terrorism programs, nonproliferation programs, peacekeeping operations, and other critical international security efforts that help keep Americans safe at home and abroad. In addition, the legislation provides security assistance to key allies, including fully funding the $3.1 billion commitment to the United States-Israel Memorandum of Understanding, and $300 million for Jordan. It also provides funds to support ongoing counter-narcotics and law enforcement efforts in Mexico, Colombia, and Central America.
Export and Investment Programs – The bill supports export and investment opportunities for U.S. companies abroad, including through financing provided by the Overseas Private Investment Corporation and Export-Import Bank. This funding will help U.S. businesses be competitive in the global marketplace.
State Department Operations and Related Agencies – The bill contains a total of $14.6 billion in base and contingency funding for operational costs of the State Department and related agencies – a decrease of $2.4 billion below the fiscal year 2013 enacted level. Within this amount, the legislation fully funds the Administration’s request for embassy security at $4.8 billion to help avoid tragedies like the loss of life in the recent Benghazi terrorist attack. To help meet these needs, the bill defers some payments to the United Nations and international organizations, and limits UN Peacekeeping funding to the authorized rate.
United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Operations – The bill contains $1.4 billion for USAID – a reduction of $172 million from the fiscal year 2013 enacted level – to provide operating costs for development and humanitarian assistance around the world in support of U.S. foreign policy goals. This includes $250.7 million in OCO/GWOT funding for USAID operations in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan.
Bilateral Assistance – The legislation contains a total of $17.3 billion in base and contingency funding for bilateral assistance to foreign countries – a decrease of $5.8 billion from the fiscal year 2013 enacted level. Within this amount, programs that support global health and humanitarian assistance are prioritized, such as State Department and USAID international HIV/AIDS programs, which are funded at the requested level of $6 billion.
Multilateral Assistance – The legislation provides $1.2 billion for multilateral assistance to foreign countries, a reduction of $1.8 billion, or 61%, below the fiscal year 2013 enacted level. The bill supports contributions to multilateral development banks benefitting only the poorest countries, while eliminating funding for many other banks, and imposing conditions to ensure transparency, accountability, and oversight of the use of U.S. taxpayer funds.
The bill also eliminates direct funding for voluntary contributions to international organizations and programs, including no funds for the UN Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, and the UN Population Fund (UNFPA).
Increased Oversight and Management – The bill includes several provisions to increase program oversight, improve management, and tighten the reins on the use of taxpayer dollars. Some of these provisions include:
- Assistance to Foreign Governments and Local Organizations – The bill includes conditions on assistance before the Administration can give funds directly to foreign governments and local organizations.
- United Nations Reform – The bill provides no funding for the Human Rights Council unless the Secretary of State determines that it is both in the national interest and the Council stops its anti-Israel agenda. This bill also prohibits funds for UN organizations headed by countries that support terrorism, and withholds a portion of funds for the UN and international organizations until financial audits are fully accessible to the United States Government and the public.
- Multi-Year Funding Commitments – The legislation includes congressional oversight requirements before the Administration can make multi-year funding commitments to foreign countries or international organizations.
- Afghanistan – The bill withholds funds until a plan is submitted to Congress on the State Department’s transition as U.S. Armed Forces draw down, and until a determination can be made that proper security is in place for civilian aid workers. In addition, the legislation continues requirements on oversight and accountability and the rights of Afghan women and girls.
- Pakistan – The legislation withholds economic and security assistance unless the Government of Pakistan cooperates with the United States on counterterrorism efforts and other issues.
- Egypt – The bill withholds economic and security assistance if the Government of Egypt does not adhere to the peace treaty with Israel or does not meet other conditions in support of Egypt’s democratic transition.
- Palestinian Authority – The legislation stops economic assistance to the Palestinian Authority if the Palestinians obtain membership to the United Nations or UN agencies without an agreement with Israel. In addition, the bill puts new restrictions on aid if the Palestinians try to pursue actions against Israel at the International Criminal Court.
- Arms Trade Treaty – The legislation prohibits funding to implement the UN Arms Trade Treaty.
Important Policy Provisions – The bill supports important policy provisions to ensure the respect for life around the globe. For example, the bill:
- Reinstates the Mexico City Policy, a policy prohibiting U.S. assistance to foreign nongovernmental organizations that promote or perform abortions;
- Prohibits funding for UNFPA, and caps family planning and reproductive health programs at $461 million, the fiscal year 2008 funding level; and
- Maintains longstanding pro-life riders, including the “Tiahrt Amendment,” which ensures family planning programs are voluntary; the “Helms Amendment,” which bans foreign aid from being spent on abortions; and the “Kemp-Kasten Amendment,” which prohibits funds to organizations the President determines to support coercive abortion or involuntary sterilization.
For the draft bill text, please visit: /UploadedFiles/BILLS-113HR-SC-AP-FY2014-StateForOp-SubcommitteeDraft.pdf