Appropriations Committee Releases Fiscal Year 2021 State and Foreign Operations Funding Bill

July 5, 2020
Press Release
Legislation rejects the President’s proposed 20 percent cut to the State Department, USAID, and related programs; Bill restores funding for critical diplomatic, development, and humanitarian programs and priorities, including the World Health Organization, ensuring robust U.S. engagement with key international partners, and includes emergency funding for coronavirus preparedness, response, and relief globally

WASHINGTON — The House Appropriations Committee today released the draft fiscal year 2021 State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs funding bill, which will be considered in subcommittee tomorrow. 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 bill also continues to provide OCO/GWOT funding under the account headings combined with enduring funds to offer a transparent accounting of the true resources needed to fund United States foreign policy and advance national security interests. 

The bill rejects the administration’s proposed cuts that would endanger national security and diminish America’s global standing, and instead provides robust funding to advance our diplomatic and development priorities, ensure the effectiveness of our foreign assistance, and strengthen the international partnerships that are critical to maintaining and expanding American influence and effectiveness on the world stage. That includes specifically restoring funding for the World Health Organization, which President Trump has threatened to cut off.

“Disease, displacement, conflict, disaster, terrorism, and economic strife threaten the security, safety, and well-being of Americans at home and abroad. We cannot ignore events overseas and hope they do not affect America. This bill reflects Congressional priorities to advance U.S. foreign policy and our foreign assistance programs. With strong investments in humanitarian, economic, and development assistance, Congress is once again sending an unequivocal message to the President that irresponsible cuts to our foreign assistance programs will not stand,” said House Appropriations Subcommittee on State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs Chairwoman Nita M. Lowey. “This bill rejects the President’s go-it-alone approach to foreign policy and instead reaffirms our strong support for international allies, for reproductive health, climate change, and multilateral assistance, and for long-term investments in development and democracy. We cannot turn inward and expect results. Through this bill, Congress makes the tough decisions and strong investments that protect our national security and repair America’s global standing and commitments.”

A summary of the draft fiscal year 2021 State-Foreign Operations funding bill is below. The full text of the bill is here. The subcommittee markup will be webcast live and linked from https://appropriations.house.gov/events/markups.

Bill Summary:

State Department Operations and Related Agencies – The bill contains a total of $16.3 billion in base and OCO funding for the operational costs of the State Department and related agencies, as well as diplomacy efforts to enhance peace and stability around the globe and provides the authority for the State Department to exceed the cap on U.S. peacekeeping contributions.

Within this amount, the legislation provides $6.1 billion for embassy security, equal to the FY 2020 enacted level. These funds will address needs at more than 275 diplomatic facilities overseas, including facility upgrades and security personnel.

International Security Assistance – The bill provides a total of $9 billion in base and OCO funding for international security assistance, equal to the FY 2020 enacted level.  Funds are included for international narcotics control and law enforcement activities, antiterrorism programs, nonproliferation programs, peacekeeping operations, and other critical international security efforts.  The bill also provides funding to fight terrorist financing networks and bolster border and airport security.

In addition, the legislation provides security assistance to key allies and partners.  The bill fully funds the $3.3 billion commitment to Israel’s security, and it maintains strong support for Foreign Military Financing programs in Ukraine, Georgia, Egypt, Jordan, and Tunisia. 

The bill maintains robust funding for counter-narcotics and law enforcement efforts in Colombia, Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean. The legislation also provides $68 million to address international organized crime and maintains funding to combat cybercrime.

United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Operations – The bill contains $1.68 billion for USAID and the USAID Office of Inspector General, an increase of $15 million above the FY 2020 enacted level. The legislation also includes oversight measures to ensure the proper management of development programs and the appropriate use of United States funds.

Bilateral Economic and Global Health Assistance – The bill contains a total of $26.95 billion in base and OCO funding for bilateral economic assistance to foreign countries, an increase of $983.9 million above the FY 2020 enacted level.  This funding is targeted to activities to provide stability in volatile regions and enhance United States presence in critical and strategic areas. Within this amount, programs that support development assistance, global health, and humanitarian assistance are prioritized.  In addition, the bill includes $6.3 billion to fight HIV/AIDS around the globe. The bill also includes $225 million under Economic Support Fund for humanitarian and development programs in the West Bank and Gaza to help address the needs of the Palestinian people, which may include support for UNRWA. 

Multilateral Assistance – The bill provides $3.55 billion for assistance to foreign countries through international organizations and banks.  The bill fully provides for our assessed Contributions to International Organizations and continues our contributions to international financial institutions such as the World Bank’s International Development Association as well as to other multilateral institutions, including the Global Environment Facility and the International Fund for Agricultural Development, which promote environment and food security initiatives respectively. Further, the bill provides a new contribution to the African Development Bank and includes language on the limitation on callable capital subscription to the North American Development Bank.

Increases in funding for critical programs:

Includes $10.018 billion in Emergency Funding to Respond to Coronavirus:

  • $955 million for Diplomatic Programs.
  • $4.4 million for the Department of State Office of Inspector General.
  • $105 million for USAID Operating Expenses.
  • $3 million for USAID Office of Inspector General.
  • $2.5 billion for Global Health Programs which includes $150 million to replenish the Emergency Reserve, $750 million for The GAVI Alliance, and $800 million for the Global Fund to Fights AIDS, TB, and Malaria.
  • $900 million for Development Assistance.
  • $1.125 billion for International Disaster Assistance.
  • $1.5 billion for Economic Support Fund.
  • $500 million for Assistance to Europe, Eurasia and Central Asia.
  • $1.125 billion for Migration and Refugee Assistance.
  • $10 million for the Inter-American Foundation.
  • $10 million for the United States African Development Foundation.
  • $1.281 billion for International Organizations and Programs for the United Nations Global Humanitarian Response Plan.

Family Planning & UNFPA:

  • $750 million for family planning – an increase of $175 million above the FY 2020 enacted level and $513 million above the President’s budget request.
  • $55.5 million for UNFPA – an increase of $23 million above the FY 2020 enacted level and $55.5 million above the President’s budget request.

Other Global Health Programs:

  • $2.64 billion for programs to improve maternal and child health and fight infectious diseases – an increase of $4 million above the FY 2020 enacted level and $719 million above the President’s budget request.  Includes $125 million for Global Health Security, an increase of $25 million above the FY 2020 enacted level. 

Human Rights of All People including LGBTI Communities:

  • $10 million for the Global Equality Fund – an increase of $2.5 million above the FY 2020 enacted level.
  • $6 million for the Protection of LGBTI Persons, USAID – an increase of $1 million above the FY 2020 enacted level.
  • $500,000 for the Special Envoy for the Human Rights of LGBTI Persons – an increase of $250,000 above the FY 2020 enacted level.
  • $15.5 million for the disability rights – an increase of $3.5 million above the FY 2020 enacted level.

Peace Corps

  • $410.5 million for Peace Corps – equal to the FY 2020 enacted level and $9.3 million above the President’s budget request.

President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), including the Global Fund:

  • $5.93 billion for PEPFAR, including $1.56 billion for the Global Fund – equal to the FY 2020 enacted level and $2.1 billion above the President’s budget request.

International Basic Education:

  • $975 million for basic education – an increase of $100 million above the FY 2020 enacted level and $674 million above the President’s budget request. This includes $125 million for multilateral partnerships in education and requires not less than $150 million be spent on girl’s education in areas of conflict.

Humanitarian Assistance:

  • $7.83 billion for humanitarian assistance under the accounts Migration & Refugee Assistance (MRA), U.S. Emergency Refugee & Migration Assistance (ERMA), and International Disaster Assistance (IDA) – equal to the FY 2020 enacted level and $1.56 billion above the President’s budget request.

Educational and Cultural Exchange (ECE) Programs

  • $741.7 million for exchange programs – an increase of $11 million above the FY 2020 enacted level and $431.7 million above the President’s budget request.

Biodiversity, Wildlife Trafficking, & the Global Environment Facility (GEF):

  • $315 million for biodiversity – equal to the FY 2020 enacted level and $224 million above the President’s budget request.
  • $100.7 million for wildlife trafficking – equal to the FY 2020 enacted level and $67.2 million above the President’s budget request.
  • $139.6 million for the Global Environment Facility, of which $136.6 million is for the third installment of the seventh replenishment – consistent with the FY 2020 enacted level and $139.6 million above the President’s budget request.

Other Environment Programs:

  • $135 million for sustainable landscapes – equal to the FY 2020 enacted level and $135 million above the President’s budget request.
  • $177 million for adaptation programs and $179 million for renewable energy programs – equal to the FY 2020 enacted level and $356 million above the President’s budget request.

Democracy Programs & National Endowment for Democracy (NED):

  • $2.4 billion for democracy programs – consistent with the FY 2020 enacted level and $850 million above the President’s budget request.
  • $200 million for the National Endowment for Democracy – a decrease of $100 million from the FY 2020 enacted level and $132.7 million above the President’s budget request.
  • $323.7 million for Democracy Fund (DF), of which $218.5 million is for the State Department and $105.3 million for USAID – an increase of $50 million above the FY 2020 enacted level and $323.7 million above the President’s budget request.

Assessed & voluntary contributions for peacekeeping activities:

  • $1.456 billion for Contributions for International Peacekeeping Activities (CIPA) - $70 million below the FY 2020 enacted level and $377 million above the President’s budget request.
  • $457.3 million for Peacekeeping Operations (PKO) – equal to the FY 2020 enacted level and $167.3 million above the President’s budget request.

Assessed & voluntary contributions to international organizations:

  • $1.506 billion to fully fund our assessed Contributions to International Organizations (CIO) – an increase of $32 million above the FY 2020 enacted level and $443 million above the President’s budget request.
  • $390.5 million for International Organizations & Programs (IO&P) – equal to the FY 2020 enacted level and $390.5 million above the President’s budget request.
  • Restores funding for the World Health Organization, which President Trump has threatened to cut off.

U.S. Institute of Peace (USIP):

  • $45 million for USIP - consistent with the FY 2020 enacted level and $29.3 million above the President’s budget request.

The Asia Foundation:

  • $20 million for the Asia Foundation – an increase of $1 million above the FY 2020 enacted level and $20 million above the President’s budget request.

East-West Center:

  • $19.7 million for the East-West Center – an increase of $3 million above the FY 2020 enacted level and $19.7 million above the President’s budget request.

Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC):

  • $905 million for MCC – consistent with the FY 2020 enacted level and $105 million above the President’s budget request.

U.S. International Development Finance Corporation (DFC):

  • $311 million, which includes $131 million for administrative expenses, $150 million for equity financing, and $30 million for technical assistance, feasibility studies, and credit subsidy. This represents an increase of $12 million above the FY 2020 enacted level, increasing funding for administrative expenses, and $523 million below the President’s budget request, and does not consolidate funding for equity financing, technical assistance, and credit subsidy per the President’s budget request.
  • $2 million for the DFC IG – consistent with the FY 2020 enacted level and the President’s budget request.

Support for U.S. allies and partners, including:

(amounts are included in account totals above)

  • Israel:  $3.3 billion, fulfilling the MOU.
  • Jordan:  $1.52 billion, fulfilling the MOU.
  • Egypt: $1.4 billion, with governance and human rights conditions and reporting requirements.
  • Assistance for Eastern Europe, Eurasia and Central Asia: $770.3 million, which is $319.4 million more than the Administration’s FY 2021 request.
  • Central America: directs that not less than $519.9 million be made available for the countries of Central America, including not less than $420.8 million for Northern Triangle countries, and amends permissive language included in FY 2020 to require that the Administration meet the assistance directive for Central America. 
  • Caribbean Basin Regional Security Initiative: Not less than $74.8 million.
  • Colombia: $457.2 million, $9 million above FY 2020, and including not less than $36 million for rule of law and human rights activities.
  • Democracy and the rule of law in Venezuela: Not less than $30 million.
  • Countering Russian Influence Fund: $290 million.
  • Tibet:  $17 million and $1 million for the Special Coordinator for Tibetan Issues.

Policy Provisions:

Support for women’s reproductive rights:

  • The bill includes the Global HER Act, which would permanently repeal the Global Gag Rule, reinstated by President Trump in January 2017.
  • It also includes a prohibition on current and prior funds from being used to implement the Mexico City Policy.
  • The bill does not include a prohibition carried in prior House bills on assistance to UNFPA.
  • The bill ends the exclusion of family planning from global health authorities and allows family planning products to benefit from the HIV/AIDS Working Capital Fund. 

Emphasizes gender equality:

  • The bill includes $50 million to support women’s leadership, $165 million to prevent and respond to gender-based violence, $15 million to address women at risk of violent extremism and $130 million to support the Women, Peace and Security Strategy.

Alleviate climate change:

  • The bill includes $500 million in current and prior year funding for a contribution or grant to an international fund to assist developing nations in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and pursue adaptation and mitigation policies.

Lautenberg Amendment:

  • The bill includes the "Lautenberg Amendment," which protects refugee eligibility for historically persecuted religious minorities.

Afghan Special Immigrant Visa (SIV) Program:

  • The bill includes a one-year extension of the Afghan SIV program, including authorization for an additional 4,000 SIVs.

Restoring staffing levels:

  • The bill continues the reversal of the Administration’s hiring freeze and maintains State Department and USAID personnel at not less than 2016 levels.

Protecting critical partner agencies and organizations:

  • The bill rejects the Administration’s request to close or consolidate the U.S. African Development Foundation, the Inter-American Foundation, the East-West Center, the Asia Foundation, and the U.S. Trade and Development Agency.

The Middle East Partnership for Peace Act of 2020:

  • Authorizes $50 million for five fiscal years to establish the People-to-People Partnership for Peace Fund under USAID and the Joint Investment for Peace Initiative under the DFC, which will provide investments in people-to-people exchanges and economic cooperation, respectfully, between Israelis and Palestinians with the goal of supporting a negotiated and sustainable two-state solution.

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116th Congress