FY17 State & Foreign Operations Full Committee Markup Bill Summary
STATE, FOREIGN OPERATIONS, AND RELATED PROGRAMS FISCAL YEAR 2017 APPROPRIATIONS BILL
Full Committee Mark: June 29, 2016
Washington, D.C.–The fiscal year 2017 State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs (SFOPS) Appropriations bill provides a total of $52.08 billion in non-emergency discretionary budget authority.
U.S. Senator Leahy Ranking Member (D-Vt.), Ranking Member of the State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs Subcommittee, said:
“I want to thank Senator Graham who is a strong defender of this budget and who has been a real partner in writing this bill. The Department of State and Foreign Operations bill provides the funding for the diplomacy and development programs that complement the defense budget. We have learned since 9/11 that military power alone cannot defeat terrorism or build stable, democratic, or prosperous societies. Our highest ranking military officers have made this point over and over. Political repression and stifling economic policies produce extremism and conflict. We also face many other challenges, from humanitarian crises in the Middle East, Africa, and Central America, to the threat of climate change and infectious disease pandemics. The funding in this bill totals $591 million below the fiscal year 2016 level, so there are serious shortfalls. There are also some provisions that I and other Democrats disagree with. But on the whole the bill is balanced and will provide the Department of State, USAID, the Department of the Treasury, and other agencies the means to implement U.S. foreign policy.”
U.S. Senator Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.), Vice Chairwoman of the Appropriations Committee, issued the following statement:
“I want to congratulate and thank Chairman Graham and Ranking Member Leahy. They did a good job with the resources available. This bill is America’s public diplomacy and key tool in our national security efforts. So much important work is done through this bill. It provides assistance to our treasured allies Israel and Jordan, keeps our embassies safe, helps neighbors in this hemisphere, fights despicable human trafficking and protects vulnerable populations. I support Senator Shaheen’s amendment on the global gag rule and Senator Merkley’s amendment on the Green Climate Fund, which fix the two issues on this bill that I consider poison pills.”
Key Points & Highlights
The bill provides funding for the Department of State (State), the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), the Department of the Treasury, and other agencies responsible for the diplomacy, development and national security programs that enable the United States to exert global leadership. State administers funds for a wide range of diplomacy and foreign assistance programs, and U.S. contributions to the United Nations and other international organizations. Our embassies and consulates assist millions of Americans doing business, serving in the government and studying abroad, as well as the citizens of those countries seeking visas to visit the U.S. USAID maintains overseas missions that implement global health, economic development, and humanitarian relief programs, which can mean life or death for hundreds of millions of people. Treasury administers contributions to the World Bank and other international financial institutions.
- Department of State and USAID Operations – For operations, the bill provides the Department of State $4.95 billion, $157 million more than fiscal year 2016, and USAID $1.37 billion, $92 million more than fiscal year 2016.
- Commitments to International Organizations – Investments in multilateral international organizations help to build a safer, more stable world. The bill substantially funds U.S. commitments to UN peacekeeping and international organizations, preserving U.S. leadership. However, portions of the funds are conditioned on transparency, audit and reporting requirements. The bill supports our contributions to the United Nations (UN), the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), the World Health Organization (WHO), the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and other international agencies.
- Embassy Security – The safety of our diplomats, consular officers and aid workers is paramount. This bill provides the amount requested by the President for security for diplomatic and consular personnel, property, and information ($3.7 billion) as well as embassy construction ($2.36 billion).
- Global Health – The bill provides $8.66 billion for Global Health Programs, $162 million more than the fiscal year 2016 enacted level. Funding for maternal and child health is $815 million and funding for children’s vaccines is $275 million, which are equal to the request levels. These funds have a direct impact on rates of mortality for tens of millions of children.
The bill provides $6 billion for programs to combat HIV/AIDS, including $4.65 billion for Department of State and USAID bilateral PEPFAR programs and $1.35 billion for the Global Fund, which are equal to the request levels.
- Central America Alliance for Prosperity Plan – The bill provides $650 million for the Alliance for Prosperity Plan, which is $100 million below the fiscal year 2016 enacted and fiscal year 2017 request levels. (The $750 million appropriated for the Plan last year has not yet been expended.) These funds are for programs to address the causes of migration of unaccompanied children and families from the poorest and most violent regions of Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador.
- Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) – The bill provides $905 million for the Millennium Challenge Corporation, which is $4 million more than the fiscal year 2016 enacted level. The MCC supports economic growth programs that create jobs in countries that meet key anti-corruption and poverty reduction criteria.
- Peace Corps – The bill provides $410 million for the Peace Corps, which is equal to the request level.
- Trafficking in Persons – The bill provides $60 million for programs to combat trafficking in persons internationally, including to support victims and build the capacity of foreign law enforcement partners.
- Atrocities Prevention – The bill provides $25 million to prevent atrocities and implement the recommendations of the Atrocities Prevention Board, including with respect to the Secretary of State’s determination in March 2016 that the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) “is responsible for genocide against groups in areas under its control, including Yezidis, Christians, and Shia Muslims [and] is also responsible for crimes against humanity and ethnic cleansing directed at these same groups and in some cases against Sunni Muslims and Kurds and other minorities.”
- Assistance for Refugees and Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) – The bill provides funding for refugees at the fiscal year 2016 enacted level and cuts assistance for IDPs to $400 million below the fiscal year 2016 enacted level at a time when the number of refugees and IDPs exceeds 60 million worldwide – the most in recent history. These programs provide life-saving food, water, medicine and shelter for the world’s most vulnerable people who are fleeing violence in Syria, Somalia, Sudan and other volatile regions. Transfer authority of $400 million from other programs funded in the Economic Support Fund account is included to cover the shortfall, but this would require cuts to such programs.
- Export Promotion – In response to economic competition from other countries and expanding U.S. trade with Africa, Asia and Latin America, the bill provides the amount requested for the Export-Import Bank ($110 million) and the U.S. Trade and Development Agency ($80.7 million). The bill also provides the Overseas Private Investment Corporation with $77 million, which is more than fiscal year 2016.
- International Financial Institutions (IFIs) – The bill provides a total of $1.99 billion for U.S. contributions to the World Bank, the Inter-American Development Bank, the Global Environment Facility, and other IFIs that are treaty obligations.
- Near East and Africa Relief and Recovery Fund –The bill provides $25 million for programs in areas liberated from, or under the influence of, extremist organizations, including programs to address basic human needs and governance.
- Assistance for Women and Girls Impacted by Extremism – The bill provides $28 million for assistance for women and girls impacted by extremism.
- Israel and Jordan – The bill provides $3.4 billion for military aid for Israel, which is $300 million more than the current Memorandum of Understanding and the fiscal year 2016 enacted and fiscal year 2017 request levels. The bill provides a total of $1 billion for assistance for Jordan, which is equal to the current Memorandum of Understanding and the fiscal year 2017 request level.
- Green Climate Fund – The original version of the bill prohibited funding for the Green Climate Fund (GCF). This multilateral fund is designed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and build resilience to climate change in countries that are already experiencing serious threats to water availability and food production. If the U.S. failed to meet its commitments, other governments, most notably China, would have little incentive to do so. Not only would this derail efforts to mitigate climate change impacts in the world’s most vulnerable countries, it would hurt U.S. clean energy companies that are poised to benefit from exports and investments financed by the GCF. However, an amendment offered by Senator Merkley was adopted during the Full Committee markup. The bill now provides funding for the GCF.
- Mexico City Policy and UN Population Fund (UNFPA) – The original version of the bill would have codified the Mexico City policy, which prohibits federal funding to private nongovernmental organizations that use their own private funds to provide abortion services in countries where it is legal. It would have prohibited any funds for the UN Population Fund (UNFPA), which provides voluntary family planning services in 150 countries and does not fund abortions. The bill also would have limited funding for bilateral family planning programs to $461 million, which is $124 million less than the request level. However, an amendment offered by Senator Shaheen, Mikulski, Leahy and others was adopted during the Full Committee markup. The bill does not include the Mexico City policy, which prohibits federal funding to private organizations that use their own private funds to provide abortion services in countries where it is legal. (The bill continues the longstanding prohibition on the use of federal funds for abortion.) The bill also now provides a total of $585 million for bilateral family planning programs, and $37.5 million for a U.S. contribution to UNFPA.
Mara Stark-Alcalá w/Appropriations: (202) 224-2667
David Carle w/Leahy: (202) 224-3693
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