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Foreign Operations, Export Financing, and Related Programs Appropriations Act, 2005

Location: Washington DC

Sept. 23, 2004


Mr. MCCONNELL. Mr. President, the fiscal year 2005 Foreign Operations appropriations bill totals $19.386 billion in discretionary spending, $42.5 million in mandatory spending, and $150 million in emergency spending for HIV/AIDS. The discretionary amount is $1.9 billion below the President's request.

The bill provides significant counterterrorism and counternarcotics resources, including full funding under the Economic Support Fund, ESF, and Foreign Military Financing, FMF, accounts for Israel, Egypt, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Jordan. There is $329 million provided under the International Narcotics Control and Law Enforcement account, $30 million below the request but $89 million above last year's level. The Andean Counterdrug Initiative is fully funded at $731 million. Peacekeeping programs are fully funded at $104 million.

The bill provides a total of $2.4 billion for HIV/AIDS, TB and malaria from all accounts in the bill, including $1.45 billion under the Global HIV/AIDS Initiative account. There is $400 million made available for a contribution to the Global Fund, of which $150 million is designated as emergency spending. When combined with funding in the Labor-HHS appropriations bill, the total for HIV/AIDS, TB and malaria exceeds $3 billion, which is the amount authorized by Congress in Public Law 108-25.

The bill fully funds or increases funding above the request in the following accounts: development assistance, international disaster and famine assistance, assistance for Eastern Europe and the Baltic states, assistance for the independent states of the former Soviet Union, and international military education and training.

Reductions had to be made and we spread these out between the Export-Import Bank, transition initiatives, USAID operating expenses, economic support fund, Peace Corps, debt restructuring, foreign military financing, the Multilateral Development Banks, and the Millennium Challenge Corporation.

On the latter, let me be clear that the bill contains $1.12 billion, an increase of $120 million above last year's enacted level. There is strong support for this program on both sides of aisle.

Let me address refugee assistance and Sudan. We significantly increased assistance above the request under the Migration and Refugee Assistance account and the Emergency Refugee and Migration Assistance Fund, by $45 million and $30 million, respectively. While we intend a portion of these funds to be used to address the horrific crisis in Darfur, a provision was included to provide an additional $150 million for Sudan, Darfur and the region from funds previously appropriated for Iraq in Public Law 108-106. Should the President not use these funds within 30 days after enactment of this act, they will be returned to the Iraq account.

Many long hours went into the preparation of this bill, and I want to recognize the efforts and input of Senator LEAHY and his staff, Tim Rieser and Mark Lippert. On my staff, Paul Grove and LaShawnda Smith deserve thanks for their hard work.

I also want to express my appreciation to Reb Brownell, a State Department detailee who helped put the bill together, and Bob Lester, whose continued counsel from his seat at USAID has been invaluable over the years. Finally, this bill would not exist if Richard Larson and his capable crew didn't assemble and print it. I want to thank Richard for his superb support of the Foreign Operations Subcommittee.


Mr. McCONNELL. Let me indicate that we are near the end of the road here. I hope to be able to announce in a few moments that our business will be completed entirely on rollcall votes. I can't announce that quite yet, but we are close. We should know momentarily whether we can complete all of the remaining amendments and final passage on voice vote.

Mr. LEAHY. Madam President, there is a rock group that I have been reputed to have spent time with and listened to. One of their songs is "Keep on Trucking." I might say, a long strange trip it has been. But if we keep on trucking, at least those of us with a touch of gray will complete this.

I will at this point, while the distinguished Senator from Kentucky tries to maintain his composure, stop going through the song, the playbook of the Grateful Dead.

Mr. McCONNELL. Madam President, I am relieved that the senior Senator from Vermont is not going to break into song. We have had a feeling between us over the years in doing this bill that each year we wanted to finish it in less time than we did the year before. And I might say to my friend from Vermont, I think this year may be our record. We are on the verge of the shortest time for passage in our history together.

Mr. LEAHY. Madam President, a lot of people watch and don't fully understand what goes on. We have quorum calls during the day. They are watching on TV. They can see different huddles of Senators. We are oftentimes getting a lot of work done. I once joked that more laws get passed in the Senators' dining room or the Senators' gym than on the floor. That is where Senators get together. The Senator from Kentucky and I, based on our years and years of personal friendship, along with the distinguished Senator from Alaska, the chairman, and the distinguished Senator from West Virginia, the ranking member, know how to work these things out. We have done this. We keep our word to each other. We do it the old-fashioned way, sort of the way we called a law being passed when I first came here 30 years ago. That is why we are at this point on a bill that used to take sometimes 2 or 3 weeks.

I like the working relationship with the Senator from Kentucky, and I think we are very close to setting a record.

The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Kentucky.

Mr. McCONNELL. I am pleased to announce to our colleagues there will be no further rollcall votes tonight.

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