State-foreign operations suffer $5B cuts under House appropriators

As expected, the House Appropriations Committee’s approved funding for State and foreign operations is below acceptable levels for nongovernmental organizations.

The committee approved Wednesday (April 25) $48.38 billion for State and foreign operations. This is $6 billion less than U.S. President Barack Obama’s request and almost $5 billion lower than the one approved by the Senate Appropriations Committee last week. It is $5 billion less than the current budget as well.

NGOs also expressed concern on the division of the allocation. Many praised the Senate appropriators for increasing the base funding to $49.8 billion. But the House appropriators chose to retain Obama’s request of $8.2 billion for overseas contingency operations, focusing cuts on the base funding instead.

The U.S. Global Leadership Coalition is also alarmed by the fact that the State and foreign operations budget received the second-deepest cut among all discretionary accounts — 9.4 percent. The transportation, housing and urban development received a slightly bigger cut of 9.9 percent.

Samuel Worthington, president and CEO of InterAction, and Tom Hart, U.S. executive director of ONE, said while they understand the currently tough fiscal environment, they are disappointed with the House’s allocations.

Hart said possible cuts on lifesaving development programs would only achieve “symbolic savings” in balancing the budget, but would have a “profound impact” on human lives and dignity.

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About the author

  • Jenny Lei Ravelo

    Jenny Lei Ravelo is a Devex Senior Reporter based in Manila. She covers global health, with a particular focus on the World Health Organization, and other development and humanitarian aid trends in Asia Pacific. Prior to Devex, she wrote for ABS-CBN, one of the largest broadcasting networks in the Philippines, and was a copy editor for various international scientific journals. She received her journalism degree from the University of Santo Tomas.