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H.R. 2293 – To amend the Trade Act of 1974 to require a Public Health Advisory Committee on Trade to be included in the trade advisory committee system, to require public health organizations to be included on the Advisory Committee for Trade Policy and Negotiations, and for other purposes

The bill would create a Public Health Advisory Committee on Trade that would submit a report to the President, Congress, and the United States Trade Representative on all proposed trade agreements and “the extent to which the trade agreement promotes public health and promotes the goal of protecting the environment in the United States and in any other country affected by the agreement.” The bill also requires public health organizations be included on the Advisory Committee for Trade Policy and Negotiations.

Representative Obey submits FY 2009 supplemental appropriations bill totaling $94.2 billion

Representative Obey submitted an FY 2009 supplemental appropriations bill totaling “$94.2 billion, $9.3 billion above the White House request.” The supplemental bill included $10.4 billion for international affairs and $500 million for food assistance, $100 million for the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria, and $2 billion for pandemic flu response ($200 million for global pandemic efforts).

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.

H.R. 2139 – Initiating Foreign Assistance Reform Act of 2009

The bill directs “the President to develop and implement a comprehensive national strategy to further the United States foreign policy objective of promoting global development, and for other purposes.” In developing the strategy, the bill directs the president to better define the roles of USG departments and agencies, improve coordination between these departments and agencies, and increase the monitoring and evaluation of U.S. development programs.

H.R. 2103 – International Protecting Girls by Preventing Child Marriage Act of 2009

Among other things, the bill states that “child marriage undermines United States investments in foreign assistance . . . to reduce maternal and child mortality, reduce maternal illness, halt the transmission of HIV/AIDS [and] prevent gender-based violence.” The bill requires the President to establish a multi-year strategy to prevent child marriage and authorizes the President to implement a variety of foreign assistance programs directed at the needs of girls including “access to water and suitable hygiene facilities . . . [and] access to health care services and proper nutrition for adolescent girls.” The bill authorizes “such sums as necessary.”

H.R. 2030 – Senator Paul Simon Water for the World Act of 2009

The bill would create an “Office of Water” at USAID headed by a “Director for Safe Water and Sanitation” with the responsibility of implementing the Senator Paul Simon Water for the Poor Act of 2005 (P.L. 109-121) and meeting the goal of providing 100 million people with safe water and sanitation by 2015. The bill also creates the position of “Special Coordinator for International Water” at the State Department with the responsibility of coordinating U.S. diplomatic policy in relation to other international issues. The bill authorizes appropriations in the amount that “may be necessary to carry out this Act.”

H.R. 1388 – The Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act

The Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act provides legislative authorization for the Volunteers for Prosperity program (VfP). VfP was created in 2003 by Executive Order to promote the voluntary service of Americans abroad. VfP provides volunteers with stipends to cover travel and living expenses. The bill creates an “Office of Volunteers for Prosperity” (VfP) within the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), establishes a set of program objectives addressing a range of health care challenges in developing countries, and authorizes $10 million for 2010.