Sunteți pe pagina 1din 3

PUBLIC POLICY UPDATE May 17, 2013 WASHINGTON UPDATE Budget and Appropriations The House Appropriations Committee

has begun circulating 302(b) allocations setting spending limits for each of the individual fiscal year (FY) 2014 appropriations bills. The allocation for the State, Foreign Operations (SFOPS) Appropriations bill is expected to be $34.1 for the base budget and $6.5 billion for Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO), for a total of $40.6 billion. If enacted, this would represent an approximately 21% drop from postsequestration levels for FY2013, and a 16% cut from last years House allocation. The House Appropriations Committee has also begun considering individual spending bills, including the Military Construction and Veterans Affairs appropriations bill and the Homeland Security appropriations bill. We expect to see the SFOPS appropriations bill in the coming weeks Senate Appropriations Chairwoman Barbara Mikulski (D-MD) said that she will meet with her subcommittee chairmen next week to discuss 302(b) allocations. She plans to have all 12 appropriations bills for FY2014 through the appropriations committee by the August recess. Mikulski hopes to return the Senate to regular order this year so that spending will not have to be determined through an omnibus bill or a continuing resolution (CR). Rep. Nita Lowey (D-NY), ranking member of the House Appropriations Committee, has stated that she is not as hopeful that all of the appropriations bills will be considered due largely to the difference between the Senate and House discretionary spending caps. She said, [The difference] imperils this years appropriations process, making it nearly impossible to move all 12 bills. Instead, we will likely see a few bills given reasonable allocations while others are left in limbo indefinitely until we pass a CR. House Appropriations Chairman Hal Rogers (R-KY) has also conceded that passing all of the appropriations bills this year will be very difficult. Democrats on the House Appropriations Committee released a new report Wednesday on the effects of sequestration. In terms of foreign assistance, the report said, "The full extent of sequestrations impact on foreign policy is still unknown but the bottom line is that USAID and State will be forced to do substantially less than they could have done without sequestration. By necessity, such cuts will force disengagement, putting at risk our vital interests worldwide. The entire report can be found here. The sections specific to foreign assistance can be found on pages 24-25. Food Aid Reform On Tuesday, the Senate Agriculture Committee marked up its version of the farm bill, and the House Agriculture Committee marked up its version of the farm bill the next day. The trade titles of both bills, which authorize international programs, are virtually the same as the versions last year, although the Senate bill adds an undersecretary position at USDA for trade. During the mark-ups, there was no mention of food aid reform and there were no amendments offered to the 1

trade title. There are expectations that the farm bill will be considered on the Senate floor next week, but this has not been confirmed. On Wednesday, House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce (R-CA) and Africa Subcommittee Ranking Member Karen Bass (D-CA) introduced the Food Aid Reform Act (H.R. 1983), which they contend will save $500 million over the next ten years while at the same time enabling the United States to reach more people, more quickly, at less expense. Reps. Royce and Bass state that this bill will eliminate U.S. procurement requirements for agricultural commodities; eliminate the costly and inefficient practice of monetization; align nonemergency food aid with the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961; and exempt U.S. food aid provided from cargo preference requirements. However, concerns have been raised that the bill does not provide authorization for, and essentially de-authorizes, Food for Peace Title II nonemergency programs. We will continue to monitor the legislation and any potential amendments regarding authorization for nonemergency programs should the bill be marked up in committee. The press release on the Food Aid Reform Act can be found here and a section-by-section summary of the bill here. Syria Legislation On Wednesday, Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Robert Menendez (D-NJ) and Ranking Member Bob Corker (R-TN) introduced the Syria Transition Support Act. The legislation proposes limited provision of arms to the Syrian opposition; broader humanitarian assistance authority; and sanctions on arms and oil sales to the Assad regime. The Senate Foreign Relations Committee is scheduled to mark up this bill on Tuesday, May 21. The press release can be found here. UPCOMING HEARINGS Hearing: The Growing Crisis in Africas Sahel Region Committee: House Committee on Foreign Affairs Subcommittees on Terrorism, Nonproliferation, and Trade and on the Middle East and North Africa Witnesses: Donald Yamamoto, acting assistant secretary of state, Bureau of African Affairs, U.S. Department of State Nancy Lindborg, assistant administrator, Bureau for Democracy, Conflict and Humanitarian Assistance, U.S. Agency for International Development Rudolph Atallah, Michael S. Ansari Africa Center, Atlantic Council Mima Nedelcovych, Schaffer Global Group When: Tuesday, May 21, 2:00 p.m. Where: 2172 Rayburn Contact: Hearing: Different Perspectives on International Development Committee: Senate Committee on Foreign Relations Witnesses: Bill Lane, Caterpillar John Murphy, United States Chamber of Commerce Todd Moss, Center for Global Development When: Wednesday, May 22, 10:30 a.m. Where: 419 Dirksen 2


HEARING SUMMARIES FY14 Department of Agriculture Budget Hearing Senate Appropriations Committee Subcommittee on Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies Thursday, May 9, 2013 Witnesses: Tom Vilsack, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Phyllis Fong, Inspector General, USDA On Thursday, May 9, the Senate Appropriations Agriculture Subcommittee held a hearing on the presidents agriculture budget with U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack, which included some focus on food aid reform. In his opening statements, Ranking Member Roy Blunt (R-MO) emphasized the popularity, importance and longevity of Food for Peace and that it plays a vital role in linking the American farmer with the developing world. He also believes that the proposed changes are short-sighted and hopes we continue with a more traditional view of Food for Peace. Chairman Mark Pryor (D-AR) stated his opposition to the presidents reform but that he is open to finding ways to reform the program to make it more efficient if there are problems. He emphasized the importance of U.S.-branded food aid from the American people and that through this program we know what those in need are getting: the highest quality, best food in the world. He also said that we are spending American taxpayer dollars, so these dollars ought to be spent in America on American products. Vilsack responded by highlighting how the world is different today from when the program first started and that the presidents reform saves money and reaches more people, faster.

Disclaimer: Articles linked in the Update are intended to provide a dashboard view of newsworthy and topical issues from popular news outlets that will be of interest to readers of the Update. The articles are an information sharing vehicle rather than an advocacy tool. They are in no way representative of the views of InterAction or the U.S. NGO community as a whole.