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The Kaiser Family Foundation’s Policy Tracker provides a single reference point for the latest information on Congressional and Administrative action on global health, including the status of key legislation, policies and programs, government reports, hearings, events, and other resources. Links to supporting materials, such as full bill texts, Member statements, and Congressional committee information, are also provided. RSS feeds are available.  A related Budget Tracker provides updated information throughout the budget and appropriations process.

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Secretary Clinton’s Keynote Address on Foreign Affairs Day

During a speech at the Plenary Session of the Foreign Affairs Day, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton discussed some of the priorities for the State Department and USAID including agricultural productivity and a reduction on USAID contracting. More specifically, Secretary Clinton stated that she wants “to move more of AID’s work back inside AID instead of having it out with contractors because we are wasting an enormous amount of money. Fifty cents on the dollar doesn’t even get into the pipeline to actually be delivered. We only have four engineers in all of USAID now. And I think it’s important that we get back to the United States Government providing these services.”

Statement by Secretary of State Clinton on the H1N1 virus and the FY09 War Supplemental Request

In testimony before the Senate Appropriations Committee, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton summarized how the State Department is assisting and coordinating with other U.S. departments and agencies to address the H1N1 virus. Secretary Clinton testified that the State Department has established an influenza monitoring group, is “tracking how other governments are responding to the threat and what assistance we might offer,” and is in regular contact with the World Health Organization (WHO). Secretary Clinton also discussed food security and staffing needs in relation to the FY09 War Supplemental Request.

CRS Report – Foreign Operations Appropriations: General Provisions

From the report summary: “This report identifies the legislative origins of General Provisions that pertain to foreign aid in the current Department of State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs Appropriations Act, 2009 (division J of the Omnibus Appropriations Act, 2009; P.L. 111-8; 123 Stat. 524 at 831). . . . Over time, as enactment of foreign aid reauthorizations waned, the General Provisions of foreign appropriations measures increasingly became the place for Congress to assert its views on the role and use of U.S. foreign aid policy, put limits or conditions on assistance, or even authorize new programs.”

State Department releases “100-Day Report”

The State Department released a “100-Day Report” summarizing the “objectives” and “accomplishments” established by the new administration under the direction of Secretary of State Clinton. The report includes statements on recent budget increases, the use of “smart power,” and commitments to health and providing health services abroad.

Budget – House Passes Budget Conference Agreement

H.Con.Res. 85 (House Budget Resolution) was introduced by Representative John Spratt (D-SC, 5th) and reported on by the House Committee on the Budget on March 27, 2009. The full House held a vote and approved the budget resolution authorizing $48.5 billion for the International Affairs budget on April 2, 2009 (the International Affairs budget contains most of the government’s funding for global health activities). The Budget Conference to resolve differences between the House and Senate budget resolutions reached an agreement and filed its report on April 27, 2009 with the International Affairs budget at $51.0 billion. The House voted (233-193) to approve the Budget Conference Agreement on April 29, 2009.

Budget – Senate Passes Budget Conference Agreement

S.Con.Res. 13 (Senate Budget Resolution) was introduced by Senator Kent Conrad (D-ND) and reported on by the Senate Committee on the Budget on March 27, 2009 with $49.8 billion for the International Affairs budget (the International Affairs budget contains most of the government’s funding for global health activities). When the bill was heard by the full Senate, Senators Kerry and Lugar proposed an amendment that increased the International Affairs budget by $4 billion returning it to the President’s initial request of $53.8 billion. The Kerry-Lugar amendment was passed by the Senate on April 1, 2009. The entire budget resolution was passed by the Senate on April 2, 2009. The Budget Conference to resolve differences between the House and Senate budget resolutions reached an agreement and filed its report on April 27, 2009 with the International Affairs budget at $51.0 billion. Senate voted (53-43) to approve the Budget Conference Agreement on April 29, 2009.