A vote of 17-2 closed the spending allocations for the 2013 state-foreign operations at current 2012 levels — at least under the Senate Appropriations Committee.
The committee approved Thursday (April 19) $53.017 billion for the state-foreign operations budget, which is close to the current 2012 budget of $53.3 billion.
The approved funding level is 3.1 percent below U.S. President Barack Obama’s request. But the House Appropriations Committee is likely to approve a much lower budget when it announces allocations sometime next week.
The U.S. Global Leadership Coalition, for one, is expecting the Senate’s allocation to be in “stark contrast” with the House’s allocation. Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin’s budget proposal in March, which the Republican-dominated House passed, provides deep cuts to the state-foreign operations budget.
Liz Schrayer, USGLC executive director, commends the Senate for keeping funding for the International Affairs budget — 95 percent of the state-foreign operations budget — at a “strong” level. She urges the House to follow in the Senate’s bipartisan leadership and avoid deep cuts to development programs.
This is backed by Samuel Worthington, president and CEO of InterAction. Worthington called on the House to follow the “example of bipartisanship” in the Senate as they deliberate on the spending bills for international development and humanitarian assistance programs.
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