House Appropriations Committee Ranking Democratic Member Rep. Norm Dicks made the following comments after release of the FY 2012 State and Foreign Operations bill text:
"Once again the Republican leadership has presented us with a completely inadequate subcommittee allocation that will reduce our influence overseas and damage the security of our nation.
"Core program funding in this bill -- money not directly related to the Global War on Terror -- is cut by more than $5 billion or 11 percent below the current year level and would mean layoffs at both the State Department and USAID. These agencies act in America's interest and project our values around the world. While vital assistance for our ally Israel is fully funded, with the United States involved in two wars and with democratic movements taking tentative hold in the Arab world, this is by no means an appropriate time to be downsizing the diplomatic efforts of the United States.
"In addition to the irresponsibly low subcommittee allocation, the bill is also loaded down with short-sighted and ideologically driven riders that would place limitations on United Nations functions, curb abortion and family planning services and continue to deny the impacts of global climate change. These policy riders and provisions have no place in an appropriations bill and will make it even harder to implement programs on top of the very limited funds provided.
"Unfortunately, we've seen this time and time again this year: the majority has driven away bi-partisan support for appropriations bills by coupling irresponsible cuts with ideological riders. This makes it impossible to consider the State and Foreign Operations bill in the same bi-partisan way we have considered the other bills that address our nation's security. Thus far this year, we've worked cooperatively in the House, with broad bi-partisan support, to pass both the Defense and Military Construction/Veterans Affairs appropriations bills. It's disappointing that the majority has chosen to politicize this vital component of our national security, but I hope as the process continues we can work together to improve this bill."
Below is a brief summary of funding levels and other key provisions in the State and Foreign Operations Appropriations bill:
Total Allocation: $39.6 billion, $8.59 billion below the FY2011 enacted and $11.23 billion below the President's FY2012 request.
[NOTE: FY2011 included approximately $3.54 billion that is considered "Overseas Contingency Operations" funding for activities related to the Global War on Terror. When this funding is not factored into the core FY 2011 enacted level, the cuts to the core State & Foreign Operations bill is $5.05 billion or 11.3 percent below the FY2011 levels.]
Bilateral Economic Assistance: The bill provides $15.4 billion total, $3.2billion below the FY2011 enacted level and $4.6 billion below the President's request.
Humanitarian Disaster Relief: The bill provides $2.28 billion total, $320 million below the FY2011 enacted level and $226 million below the President's request.
Overseas Contingency Operations for Global War on Terror: The bill provides $7.6 billion total, $4.06 billion above the FY2011 enacted level and equal to the President's request. [This does not include $1.1 billion that was in the President's request for this bill but was transferred to the Department of Defense]
Multilateral Development Banks: The bill provides $1.26 billion total, $684 million below the FY2011 enacted level and $2.05 billion below the President's request.
USAID Operating Expenses: The bill provides $900 billion total, $447 million below the FY2011 enacted level and $603 million below the President's request.
Global Gag Rule ("Mexico City Policy"): A policy that prohibits all federal funding from going to any organization that uses their own funds to perform abortions, promote legalization or provide counseling including these services.
UN Human Rights Council: Prevents the US from influencing the council by defunding our participation.
UN Peacekeeping Activities: Caps U.S. contributions to UN Peacekeeping Activities at 25 percent. This abrogates our treaty agreement with the UN.
Defunds UNFPA: Blocks U.S. contributions to the UN Population Fund.
Climate Change: Cuts funding to accounts and programs across the bill that address global climate change.
International Monetary Fund (IMF): Rescinds funds appropriated to the IMF to shore up its role as the first responder to global financial crises.