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“Senator Paul Simon Water for the World Act of 2012″ introduced in Congress

Representatives Earl Blumenauer (D-OR, 3rd) and Ted Poe (R-TX, 2nd) introduced the “Senator Paul Simon Water for the World Act of 2012” (H.R. 3658). The stated purpose of the act “is to strengthen implementation of the Senator Paul Simon Water for the Poor Act of 2005 (Public Law 109–121) by: (1) improving coordination and oversight of water, sanitation, and hygiene programs within and between United States Government agencies; (2) increasing the sustainability of United States Government-supported water, sanitation, and hygiene programs; (3) enhancing water, sanitation, and hygiene expertise within the United States Agency for International Development; and (4) integrating water and sanitation into programs and strategies for food security, global health, environment, education, and gender equality.”

Among other things, the act would create water focused positions at both USAID (Global Water Coordinator) and the State Department (Special Advisor for Water Resources) and would require USAID to develop a “Safe Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene Strategy” every four years.

Both Representative Blumenauer and Representative Poe issued press releases about the proposed legislation.

“Contingency Operations Oversight and Interagency Enhancement Act of 2011″ introduced in Congress includes health components

Representative Russ Carnahan (D-MO, 3rd) introduced the “Contingency Operations Oversight and Interagency Enhancement Act of 2011” (H.R. 3660). The proposed bill would establish the “United States Office for Contingency Operations”, an independent agency reporting to the Department of State and the Department of Defense charged with coordinating U.S. stabilization and reconstruction efforts in foreign countries. The bill would also establish the “Stabilization and Reconstruction Emergency Reserve Fund” for, among other things, the “development of water and sanitation infrastructure, . . . providing food distribution and development of sustained production, . . . [and] providing healthcare relief and developing sustained healthcare.”

President Obama releases “National Action Plan on Women, Peace, and Security” and issues executive order directing implementation of the plan

President Obama released “United States National Action Plan on Women, Peace, and Security” and issued an executive order directing implementation of the plan. The stated goal of the plan is “to empower half the world’s population as equal partners in preventing conflict and building peace in countries threatened and affected by war, violence and insecurity.” The plan includes provisions addressing health.

Additional Resources:

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.

President Obama announces partnership with Burma; includes health components

During the a trip to Burma, President Obama announced a new U.S.-Burma partnership that will, among other things, address health issues including: maternal and child health, health system strengthening, HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria.

Additional Information:

CBO releases cost estimate of “Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review Act of 2012″

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released a cost estimate of the “Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review Act of 2012” (S. 3341). The CBO “estimates that implementing S. 3341 would cost $8 million over the 2013-2017 period, assuming appropriation of the necessary amounts.”