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House Appropriations Subcommittee Releases FY 2013 State And Foreign Operations Appropriations Bill

The House Appropriations State and Foreign Operations subcommittee on Tuesday released a draft (.pdf) of its FY 2013 appropriations bill, Devex reports (Mungcal, 5/8). “The bill, to be marked up by the subcommittee Wednesday morning, would provide $40.1 billion for the base budget of the State Department, USAID, and international affairs programs in other agencies, in addition to $8.2 billion for diplomatic and development programs related to the ongoing wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Pakistan in what’s known as the Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO) account,” Foreign Policy’s “The Cable” writes, noting, “If enacted, the legislation would represent a 12 percent cut from the administration’s $54.71 billion budget request” (Rogin, 5/8).

“While making sensible cuts to lower-priority areas, the bill restores some of the cuts proposed in the President’s request for priority global health programs, refugee assistance, and democracy promotion activities,” The Hill’s “Global Affairs” blog writes (Pecquet, 5/8). According to the Kaiser Family Foundation’s Policy Tracker, “Funding through the appropriations bill for the Global Health Initiative at USAID and State would be $164 million (two percent) greater than the President’s request” (5/8). According to a House Committee on Appropriations press release, the bill also would reinstate the Mexico City Policy, also known as the “global gag rule”; prohibit funding for UNFPA; cap spending for family planning and reproductive health programs at no more than the FY 2008 level; and provide no funding for needle-exchange programs (5/8). “This draft spending bill is unlikely to become law any time soon even if approved by the subcommittee,” Devex writes, adding, “It will still need approval from the full committee and the House before being discussed with the Democrat-led Senate, which is unlikely to agree to steep funding cuts” (5/8).

Additional details regarding the international health aspects of the FY13 appropriations bill proposal are available on the Kaiser Family Foundation’s Policy Tracker.