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Senate Appropriations Committee introduces Continuing Resolution for the remainder of FY 2011; includes overall increase in global health funding

The Senate Committee on Appropriations introduced a Continuing Resolution (CR) that would authorize appropriations for the remaining seven months of FY 2011 (the first 5 months of FY 2011 were funded under FY 2010 levels). This legislation would replace the full-year appropriations bill (H.R. 1) that was recently passed by the House on February 19, 2011. Unlike H.R. 1, which proposes to cut global health funding, the Senate CR proposes an overall increase in global health funding (see table below). Additionally, the summary of the CR provided by the Senate Committee on Appropriations categorizes State and Foreign Operations funding as part of National Security.

GAO Testimony – “Foreign Operations: Key Issues for Congressional Oversight”

In testimony before the House Committee on Appropriations, Subcommittee on State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs, Jacquelyn Williams-Bridgers, Managing Director of International Affairs and Trade at the Government Accountability Office (GAO) discussed “four cross-cutting areas of U.S. foreign policy as implemented by State & USAID: (1) investments in key partner nations, (2) building the capacity of U.S. agencies to advance foreign policy priorities, (3) contractor oversight and accountability, and (4) strategic planning and performance measurement.”

S. 641 – Senator Paul Simon Water for the World Act of 2011

The stated purpose of the proposed bill is “(1) to enable first-time access to safe water and sanitation, on a sustainable basis, for 100,000,000 people in high priority countries . . . within 6 years of the date of enactment of this Act through direct funding, development activities, and partnerships; and (2) to enhance the capacity of the United States Government to fully implement the Senator Paul Simon Water for the Poor Act of 2005.” Among other things, the proposed bill would create water related positions at both the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and the State Department and authorizes specific water and sanitation related activities aimed at fulfilling the goals of the bill.

Summary of the FY11 Full-Year Continuing Appropriations Act (H.R. 1473)

Representative Harold Rogers (R-KY, 5th) introduced the “Department of Defense and Full-Year Continuing Appropriations Act, 2011” (H.R. 1473) authorizing appropriations for the remaining six months of FY 2011 (the first 6 months of FY 2011 were funded under FY 2010 levels). The proposed funding totals for global health (as compared to FY 2010 totals) included in this appropriations bill are provided in the table below.

Note: The appropriations bill (H.R. 1473) includes an across-the-board rescission of 0.2 percent to all discretionary spending; the global health funding totals for FY 11 (H.R. 1473) listed below include this rescission.

Timeline of the bill:

- Introduced and referred to the House Committee on the Budget and the House Committee on Ways and Means on April 11, 2011.

- Passed by the House (260-167) and the Senate (81-19) on April 14, 2011.

- Signed by the President (Public Law No: 112-10) on April 15, 2011.

Administration officials testify before Congress on the FY 2012 budget request for Africa

Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs, Johnnie Carson, U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) Deputy Assistant Administrator Rajakumari Jandhyala, U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator Ambassador Eric Goosby, and Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) Vice President for Compact Implementation Patrick Fine testified before the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, Subcommittee on African Affairs, on the FY 2012 budget request for Africa.

Administration releases “U.S. Strategy to Address Sexual and Gender-Based Violence in the Democratic Republic of the Congo”

The U.S. Strategy to Address Sexual and Gender-Based Violence (SGBV) in the Democratic Republic of the Congo outlines four key objectives: 
    1. “Reduce impunity for perpetrators of SGBV; 
    2. Increase prevention of and protection against SGBV for vulnerable populations; 
    3. Improve the capacity of the security sector to address SGBV; and 
    4. Increase access to quality services for survivors of SGBV.”

Additional Information:

H.R. 755 – Investing in Our Future Act of 2011

The proposed bill would impose a 0.005% tax on the value of the currency (if greater than $10,000 USD) acquired in a currency exchange transaction. The revenue generated by this tax would be directed to three new trust funds established at the Department of the Treasury: 10% would be directed to a “Child Care Assistance Trust Fund,” 25% to a “Multilateral Global Health Trust Fund,” and 25% to a “Global Climate Change Adaptation and Mitigation Trust Fund.” The remainder would be directed to federal budget deficit reduction or reduction of the federal debt.

The Secretary of State would have authority to provide grants from the Multilateral Global Health Trust Fund to entities such as the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria and other multilateral organizations that meet specific criteria outlined in the bill. The bill also states that funding for the multilateral organizations must be in addition to and not replacing existing funding and should be used for the purposes of “addressing HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria, maternal mortality, family planning, neglected diseases, and other health issues affecting developing countries.”

House Appropriations Committee Chairman announces FY 2011 spending levels

House Committee on Appropriations Chairman Harold Rogers (R-KY, 5th) announced the spending levels, or 302(b) allocations, for fiscal year 2011. A 302(b) funding allocation is provided to each appropriations subcommittee and acts as a ceiling for allocating funds in the appropriation bill under the subcommittee’s jurisdiction. The 302(b) allocation for State and Foreign Operations, which includes the majority of U.S. global health funding, was set at $46.953 billion ($9.693 below the President’s Request; $1.811 billion below the FY10 enacted level).