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Ms. GRANGER. Mr. Speaker, I rise in strong support of the State-Foreign Operations division of this conference agreement, which contains $42.1 billion in discretionary budget authority. This means that since January, spending in this bill will decrease in this bill by $6.6 billion, or more than 13 percent.
The agreement includes overseas contingency operations spending for State and USAID to implement in frontline states and conflict areas. These costs are temporary and extraordinary and will be reduced over time.
This bill has been written to address our foreign assistance and State Department funding through the lens of what is most important to our national security interests and the security of our allies and our neighbor Mexico. The bill provides security assistance for critical allies, including full finding for the U.S.-Israel memorandum of understanding.
The bill also carries new language on the Palestinian Authority, cutting off their economic aid and stopping their ability to have a U.S. office if they obtain member state status at the United Nations. Additionally, the bill addresses concerns about assistance to Egypt and to Pakistan.
New restrictions are also placed on the U.N. and other international organizations. For example, funds are withheld from these organizations until they publicly display their audit and financial reports.
I want to thank the members of the State-Foreign Operations Appropriations Subcommittee and, in particular, my ranking member, Mrs. Lowey, who has been extremely helpful in developing this compromise. I also thank my colleagues across the Capitol who worked in good faith for the best possible outcomes. I believe we were successful in protecting our national security while providing appropriate oversight of taxpayer dollars.
I want to sincerely thank the staff: from Mrs. Lowey's staff, Steve Marchese, Erin Kolodjeski and Talia Dubovi; and on my staff, Anne Marie Chotvacs, Clelia Alvarado, Alice Hogans, Susan Adams, Craig Higgins, Jamie Guinn, Johnnie Kaberle, and Matt Leffingwell. They all worked appreciable hours and with great dedication.
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