FY2020 State & Foreign Operations Bill Advanced by Full Committee
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Senate Committee on Appropriations today approved the FY2020 State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs Appropriations Act, which provides funding to strengthen federal programs and operations that support national security and American values abroad. The legislation was advanced by a vote of 31-0.
The $55 billion appropriations bill strengthens diplomacy and development, promotes democracy abroad, provides critical assistance to allies, and continues life-saving global health and humanitarian assistance programs for the world’s most vulnerable populations.
“U.S. foreign assistance strengthens our national security and makes America safer. Our diplomats and development professionals face global challenges that are increasingly complex and dynamic, and we must continue to preserve and reinforce American strength and influence abroad. This bipartisan bill represents a robust investment in key diplomatic and development efforts worldwide, provides security assistance for our allies abroad, and supplies those in crisis situations with life-saving humanitarian and health assistance,” said U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), chairman of the Senate State and Foreign Operations Appropriations Subcommittee.
“This legislation advances U.S. interests abroad by funding programs that promote democracy and support our diplomatic and humanitarian missions,” said Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Richard Shelby (R-Ala.). “I appreciate the hard work Senator Graham and Vice Chairman Leahy put in to crafting this significant bill. Our posture around the world is of the utmost importance.”
Supports Key Allies, Counters Extremism, and Promotes Democracy and Human Rights
- $3.3 billion for Foreign Military Financing Program assistance for Israel, $5 million for refugees resettling in Israel; and makes funds available for construction of the New Embassy Compound in Jerusalem.
- $1.7 billion for economic and military assistance for Jordan, including $125 million from prior year balances.
- $375 million for a new Countering Chinese Influence Fund to combat malign Chinese influence activities and increase transparency and accountability associated with the Belt and Road Initiative.
- $285 million for the Countering Russian Influence Fund, equal to the FY2019 enacted level.
- $200 million for the Relief and Recovery Fund for assistance for areas of instability, including areas liberated from Islamic State and other extremist groups.
- $2.6 billion to implement the Indo-Pacific Strategy.
- $2.8 billion for democracy programs, including $360 million for the National Endowment for Democracy. This amount is $419 million above the FY2019 enacted level.
- $515 million for assistance for Central American countries, and directs that not less than $525 million provided for the region in FY 2019 be made available for the purposes for which they were originally appropriated.
Establishes U.S. Development Finance Corporation (DFC) – $300 million for the DFC, authorized by the BUILD Act of 2018, to assume the activities of the Overseas Private Investment Corporation, the United States Agency for International Development’s (USAID) Development Credit Authority, and to begin new financing authorities. The bill provides:
- $98 million for administrative and project-specific transaction costs;
- $200 million for program funds, including $50 million for credit subsidy and $150 million for equity funding, of which $25 million for a matching fund to better coordinate the DFC with the Department of State and USAID; and
- $2 million for the DFC Inspector General.
Promotes and Protects International Religious Freedom – The bill makes funds available for programs to promote international religious freedom, including $6.5 million for the Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom.
Strengthens Embassy Security – $5.7 billion to ensure the security and safety of U.S. diplomats and development specialists. Funding provided for embassy security is consistent with the intent of the Benghazi Accountability Review Board.
Provides Assistance for Refugees – $3.4 billion for Migration and Refugee Assistance, maintaining the long-held U.S. commitment to protecting and addressing the needs of refugees impacted by conflict and other natural and manmade disasters.
Supports International Disaster Assistance – $4.4 billion for International Disaster Assistance to provide vital humanitarian assistance in response to conflict, natural disasters, and other humanitarian crises around the world.
Protects Life – The bill supports important policy provisions to ensure the respect for life around the globe. For example, the bill:
- Maintains the Mexico City Policy, prohibiting U.S. assistance to foreign nongovernmental organizations that promote or perform abortions;
- Maintains the “Helms Amendment,” banning the use of foreign aid funding for abortions;
- Ensures that family planning programs funded through this bill are voluntary; and
- Prohibits funding of organizations the President determines to support coercive abortion or involuntary sterilization.
STRENGTHENS GLOBAL HEALTH
Global Health Program – The mark includes a total of $9.1 billion for Global Health Programs, of which $3.2 billion is for USAID health programs and $5.9 billion is for the Department of State:
- HIV/AIDS – $6.2 billion for global HIV/AIDS assistance, including $1.6 billion for the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria ($210 above the FY 2019 enacted level), $330 million is for USAID HIV/AIDS programs, and $45 million is for UNAIDS;
- Global Health Security – $100 million for global health security programs to protect the U.S. homeland from contagious infectious disease outbreaks abroad by accelerating the capabilities of targeted countries to prevent, detect, and respond to such outbreaks;
- Polio – includes $61 million for polio eradication efforts;
- Maternal and Child Health – $847 million for maternal and child health programs, including $290 million for the GAVI Alliance;
- Malaria – $789 million to combat malaria;
- Tuberculosis – $310 million for tuberculosis programs;
- Neglected Tropical Diseases – $102.5 million combat Neglected Tropical Diseases; and
- Nutrition – $150 million for nutrition assistance.
INTERNATIONAL SECURITY ASSISTANCE
The bill provides a total of $9.1 billion for critical assistance for foreign military training and education programs, peacekeeping operations, counterterrorism and nonproliferation programs, and financing for critical military equipment for U.S. partners around the world, including:
- International Narcotics Control and Law Enforcement – $1.4 billion;
- Nonproliferation, Anti-terrorism, Demining and Related Programs – $960.4 million, of which $314.4 million is for anti-terrorism programs;
- Peacekeeping Operations – $471.4 million, including $31 million for a U.S. contribution to the Multinational Force and Observer mission in the Sinai;
- International Military Education and Training Programs – $115 million; and
- Foreign Military Financing Program – $6.2 billion.
DEPARTMENT OF STATE OPERATIONS AND OTHER FUNDING
Administration of Foreign Affairs – $11.9 billion for the administration of foreign affairs.
USAID Operations – $1.4 billion for USAID operating expenses and $75.5 million for the USAID Office of Inspector General.
Multilateral Assistance – $2.1 billion for multilateral assistance, which includes funding to meet U.S. commitments to international financial institutions.
The bill does not include funds for the Green Climate Fund, the UN Human Rights Council, and the UN Relief and Works Agency.
The bill funds assessed contributions for United Nations international organizations and peacekeeping activities at 22 percent and 25 percent, respectively.
REFORMS, SAVINGS, AND REDUCING GOVERNMENT WASTE
The bill and accompanying report include numerous oversight provisions to ensure proper use of taxpayer funds and accountability of the administration. The bill provides robust funding for the Department of State and USAID Inspector Generals, including the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction, and directs implementation of key Inspector General and GAO recommendations. In addition, the bill:
- Continues stringent requirements for records management by the Department of State and USAID;
- Continues limitations on conference expenses; and
- Prohibits funds to establish or maintain a computer network at a Federal agency funded by the Act unless the network has filters to block sexually explicit websites.
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