The House Appropriations Committee today approved the fiscal year 2013 State and Foreign Operations Appropriations bill. The legislation totals $40.1 billion in regular discretionary funding, which is $2 billion -- or 5% -- below last year's level.
The bill contains funding for diplomatic operations and foreign assistance activities -- including programs to promote security and stability in the developing world; activities to fight illegal drug-trafficking and crime; and security assistance to U.S. strategic allies, including assistance for Israel. Also included are significant reforms to improve the oversight and management of precious tax dollars, important policy provisions to ensure the respect for life around the world, and funding cuts to lower-priority international programs. In total, including war funding for U.S. involvement in frontline countries and other war-related efforts, the bill is $5 billion -- or 9% -- below fiscal year 2012.
"This bill is an example of how we can reduce spending, but fulfill our obligations domestically and internationally. The legislation makes sound investments across the globe -- providing for critical national security and diplomatic efforts that promote democracy, encourage international development, provide humanitarian assistance, and help fight drug-trafficking and violent crime. But the bill also slices spending in many areas to more responsible and common-sense levels to help meet the very real and dangerous economic challenges we face here at home," Appropriations Chairman Hal Rogers said.
State and Foreign Operations Subcommittee Chairwoman Kay Granger echoed Rogers' statement, saying:
"This bill is a re-focused way of investing our money around the world. In this difficult climate, our foreign aid must be based on a model that reflects American principles, looks out for American interests, and wisely invests American dollars. The bill approved today saves taxpayer dollars by spending 9% less than last year, while at the same time supporting critical activities related to our national security and international stability," Chairwoman Granger said.
The following amendments to the fiscal year 2013 State and Foreign Operations Appropriations bill were approved today by the full committee:
Rep. Granger -- The manager's amendment made technical and non-controversial changes and additions to the report. The amendment was adopted on a voice vote.
Rep. Wolf -- The amendment prohibits funding for countries that allow into their borders former Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir, who has been charged with international war crimes. The amendment was adopted on a voice vote.
Rep. Rehberg -- The amendment prohibits funding to advocate for or agree to any provision of a United Nations small arms treaty that would restrict the Second Amendment rights of American citizens or further regulate U.S. firearms users or manufacturers. The amendment was adopted in a vote of 30-20.
Rep. Dent -- The amendment requires the Secretary of State to report on whether the Boko Haram meets the criteria for designation as a Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO). The amendment was adopted on a voice vote.
The FY 2013 State and Foreign Operations Appropriations bill was approved by the full committee on a voice vote.
For the text of the bill and report, please visit:
For a summary of the legislation, please visit: http://appropriations.house.gov/News/DocumentSingle.aspx?DocumentID=294389