These highlights from the conference of the Foreign Operations subcommittees of the House and Senate Appropriations committees are disseminated here for your convenience. The quick summary:
- 700 additional Foreign Service Officers for diplomatic and consular programs
- 300 additional Foreign Service Officers for USAID
- Nearly $100 million increase for ECA funding over 2009 funding
- Nearly $31 million increase for broadcasting programs
The FY 2010 State and Foreign Operations Appropriations bill helps protect our national security through effective diplomacy and development. It provides needed assistance to frontline states - Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iraq - and it promotes security, economic development, health, education, food security, and environmental protection around the world. The bill also provides vital resources to rebuild the capacity of the State
Department and USAID. It reverses a decade of reliance on supplemental appropriations and provides an honest accounting of the cost of critical national security initiatives.
Overall, the bill focuses on four priority areas:
- Rebuilding our Diplomatic and Development Capacity to meet 21st Century Requirements;
- Assisting Frontline States, Combating Terrorism and Narcotics, and other National Security Priorities;
- Ensuring Effective Oversight of Assistance Programs and Diplomatic/Development Operations; and
- Responding to HIV/AIDS, Poverty, Food Security, Education, Humanitarian Crises, Climate Change, and Other Global Challenges.
The bill totals $48.764 billion of discretionary budget authority for fiscal year 2010, which is $1.235 billion, or two percent below fiscal year 2009 enacted levels including supplemental appropriations, and $3.28 billion below the President's fiscal year 2010 request.
FY 2009 Enacted: $49.999 billion *Includes Supplemental Appropriations
President's Request: $52.044 billion
House Passed: $48.843 billion
Senate Committee: $48.685 billion
Final Bill: $48.764 billion
State Department and USAID Operations, Staff and Security:
- Diplomatic and Consular Programs: $8.227 billion, $1.164 billion above 2009 and $733 million below the request, for diplomatic operations and to hire more than 700 new Foreign Service personnel. Currently, there are approximately 11,700 Foreign Service employees who represent the United States and assist the needs of American citizens abroad.
- Operating Expenses for USAID: $1.39 billion, $330 million above 2009 and $50 million below the request, to allow USAID to hire 300 additional Foreign Service Officers as part of the Development Leadership Initiative (DLI), which seeks to enhance USAID's leadership, technical and managerial capacity.
Oversight of Diplomatic and Development Assistance and Operations: $149 million, $2 million above the request, for oversight of the State Department and foreign operations, including State Department and USAID Inspectors General, Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction (SIGIR), and Special Inspector for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR). The bill includes:
- Oversight of diplomatic capacity enhancements, including a requirement that the Secretary of State and the Administrator of USAID regularly report on the hiring, training, and deploying of new staff since fiscal year 2008.
- UN Peacekeeping Missions: $2.125 billion, $264 million below 2009 and $135 million below the request, for Contributions for International Peacekeeping Activities. These funds support UN peacekeeping missions including in Darfur, Congo, Liberia, Haiti, and Lebanon. The bill cuts funding for peacekeeping in Somalia, which is provided under the voluntary Peacekeeping Operations account.
- Voluntary Peacekeeping Operations: $332 million, $199 million below 2009 and $35 million above the request, for Peacekeeping Operations, for voluntary multi-national peacekeeping and stabilization efforts, including support for international missions not supported by the UN but of particular interest to the United States.
Educational and Cultural Exchanges (ECE): $635 million, $97 million above 2009 and $2 million above the request, to fund educational, cultural and professional exchange programs worldwide to foster mutual understanding between the United States and more than 160 other nations.
Broadcasting: $746 million, $31 million above 2009 and $1 million above the request, for broadcasting programs critical to the U.S. public diplomacy efforts.
Peace Corps: $400 million, $60 million above 2009 and $27 million above the request, to accelerate the President's pledge to expand the Peace Corp. The program currently has 7,600 volunteers serving in 75 countries.
Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC): $1.105 billion, $230 million above 2009 and $320 million below the request, for bilateral assistance to developing nations. MCC compacts have supported agriculture, transportation, education, health, and financial development projects.
The bill does not fund the Reserve Component of the Civilian Response Corps proposed in the fiscal year 2010 budget, a savings of $52 million from the request.