U.S. Senate appropriators have passed a fiscal 2012 state and foreign operations spending bill that provides $44.64 billion in discretionary funding to the U.S. Department of State, U.S. Agency for International Development and other international programs.
The approved funding level is $6 billion lower than the $50.70 billion requested by U.S. President Barack Obama and approximately $1 billion less than the enacted budget for fiscal 2011.
The Senate allocation, however, is $5 billion higher than the state and foreign affairs budget approved earlier this year by House appropriators. Members of the U.S. development committee have expressed support for the Senate version of the 2012 budget and said they hope Congress would adopt it over the House version.
The Senate and House bills need to be reconciled before a final bill is voted on and sent to the president for signature.
The Senate bill provides $1.25 billion for USAID operating expenses — $96.3 million less than fiscal 2011 levels — and $13.8 billion for the Department of State. The State budget includes $1.58 billion to fund U.S. contributions to international organizations and $1.9 billion for U.S. payments to support international peacekeeping activities.
Bilateral and multilateral aid
The bill allocates $19.58 billion for U.S. bilateral economic assistance, including:
$7.9 billion for U.S. global health programs.
$2.55 billion for official development assistance.
$850 million for international disaster assistance.
$4.37 billion for the Economic Support Fund.
$898.2 million for the Millennium Challenge Corp.
For U.S. contributions to development banks and other multilateral organizations, the Senate bill allocates $3.2 billion, which is $918.5 below fiscal 2011 levels and $446.5 below Obama’s fiscal 2012 request.
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