InterAction Reflects on House Foreign Operations Bill Approved by Subcommittee

May 11, 2012

 

House funding bill for international development reflects inadequate allocation

 

WASHINGTON (May 11, 2012)—InterAction President Samuel A. Worthington issued the following statement today in response to the funding bill approved by the House Appropriations State, Foreign Operations Subcommittee on Wednesday:

 

“The funding bill approved by the House Appropriations State, Foreign Operations Subcommittee Wednesday makes improvements on last year’s House bill. However, it reflects the inadequate allocation received by the subcommittee of $48.377 billion*, at 9 percent below last year’s enacted level of $53.343 billion* and 15 percent below the FY2010 enacted level of $56.606 billion.*

 

“While we favor moderate increases in these important accounts, we are pleased to see that funding for a number of key accounts such as Development Assistance, global AIDS programming (PEPFAR), and the Millennium Challenge Corporation remains at least at current year levels.  Accounts for which draconian cuts or no funding were proposed in last year’s House bill—such as Development Assistance, and the Global Agriculture and Food Security Program—fare better this year.  For this we are grateful.

 

“We understand the fiscal realities facing our government, but would also remind Congress that the need for U.S. engagement with the world’s poorest populations remains great and is growing.  In light of this need, the allocation provided to this subcommittee, 9 percent below last year’s level, is insufficient, and it puts the subcommittee in a difficult position. The resulting proposed cuts are counterproductive:

 

  • The bill zeroes out funding for international climate programs, for example, denying support to vulnerable countries in some of the most volatile regions of the world working to build their own resilience to extreme weather and natural disasters induced by changing climates.
  • The bill cuts other important accounts such as USAID Global Health Programs, Migration and Refugee Assistance, International Organizations and Programs, and USAID Operating Expenses. 
  • The bill would severely reduce U.S. contributions to a number of multilateral organizations, the very institutions most likely to increase the bang we get for the taxpayer’s buck by leveraging the donations of other countries.

 

“InterAction applauds the improvements in this bill over last year’s, and looks forward to seeing the House and Senate work together to produce an improved final bill for FY2013.”

 

* Totals include OCO and supplemental funding.

 

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InterAction is the largest alliance of U.S.-based nongovernmental international organizations, with more than 190 members. Our members operate in every developing country, working with local communities to overcome poverty and suffering by helping to improve their quality of life. Visit www.interaction.org

 

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