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Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Foreign Appropriations Subcommittee

I have to say that I like the direction this is headed in. Granted, it is still listed as being in draft format, and needs support. Contact Representative Kay Granger at (202) 225-2041 and offer your support in the cuts to UN funding that also was funding terrorist states. Tell her that you also support the tighter restrictions and oversight of how other countries use our Federal Tax Dollars.

In July of this year the House Appropriations Committee released the fiscal year 2012 State and Foreign Operations Appropriations bill. The bill included a total of $39.6 billion in regular discretionary funding, which is $8.6 billion or 18% below last year’s level. Included in these reductions are cuts back to the fiscal year 2008 levels or below for certain operations and assistance accounts. The bill also includes $7.6 billion designated as Global War on Terror funding, which is $1.1 billion below the President’s request.

The bill includes several provisions to increase oversight of taxpayer dollars and tighten the reins on the Administration’s management of programs, including:

Direct Government Assistance – The bill includes layers of conditions on government-to-government assistance, including assessments, certifications, and annual reporting requirements.

United Nations Reform – The bill provides no funding for the Human Rights Council, prohibits funds for UN organizations headed by terrorist countries, and withholds a portion of funds for the UN and international organizations until audits are made fully available to the United States Government and being published on a website.

Multi-Year Funding Commitments – The legislation requires that the Administration justify in its budget request or notify the Congress before making public announcements of multi-year funding pledges.

Inspectors General – The bill fully funds the requests for agency Inspector Generals who provide program and funding oversight.

Funding Availability – The legislation reduces the period of availability of funds and requires more accurate reporting of how and when funds are spent.

Reinstates Mexico City Policy, a policy prohibiting U.S. assistance to foreign nongovernmental organizations that promote or perform abortion.

Prohibits funding for the UN Population Fund, and caps population/reproductive health activities at the 2008 level.

Maintains long-standing pro-life riders, including the “Tiahrt Amendment,” which ensures family planning programs are voluntary; the “Helms Amendment,” which bans foreign aid from being spent on abortions; and the “Kemp-Kasten Amendment,” which prohibits funds to organizations the President determines to support coercive abortion or involuntary sterilization.

Prohibits funding for needle exchange programs.

Chairman Rogers Opening Statement on FY 2012 State and Foreign Operation Appropriations Bill for Subcommittee Markup

Washington, Jul 27 - "I thank the Chairwoman for yielding, and I congratulate her and Ranking Member Lowey on producing a fiscal year 2012 State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs Appropriations bill. I am pleased that the committee has returned to regular order and that this is the 10th subcommittee markup of the fiscal year 2012 appropriations cycle.

"The fiscal situation confronting our nation is of immediate importance, and hard choices simply can no longer be put off onto our children in the name of political expediency. This bill reflects your commitment, Madam Chairwoman, and that of the whole Committee, to scour each line of the President’s budget in search of responsible savings.

"The bill before us works to put the agencies funded by this bill on a sustainable budget path, while continuing to fund important programs associated with national security. Fully funding the Iraq request will help ensure the hard-fought gains are not lost. The bill fully funds the US-Israel Memorandum of Understanding at over $3 billion. This bill supports our important neighbors in this hemisphere – Colombia, Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean – to help fight drug trafficking and violent crime. With respect to countries that have provided challenges to U.S. diplomacy and foreign policy, funds are only made available after these governments have met tough conditions.

"Where necessary, we have cut funding for ineffective and unproven programs. At this time of monumental deficits and skyrocketing debt, we cannot afford to let taxpayer dollars slip through the cracks. Full funding for the Inspectors General is one of the important steps this bill takes to ensure accountability and oversight. In addition, important provisions are included to restrict funds that go directly to foreign governments, and to address financial management concerns.

"The Chairwoman’s emphasis on supporting national security, reducing spending, and implementing reform is the right approach for addressing our international interests.

"I urge that the subcommittee promptly report this bill to the full Committee."

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