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Public Policy Update 5-17-13_0

Public Policy Update 5-17-13_0

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Published by: InterAction on May 17, 2013
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PUBLIC POLICY UPDATEMay 17, 2013WASHINGTON UPDATEBudget and Appropriations
The House Appropriations Committee has begun circulating 302(b) allocations setting spendinglimits for each of the individual fiscal year (FY) 2014 appropriations bills. The allocation for theState, Foreign Operations (SFOPS) Appropriations bill is expected to be $34.1 for the basebudget and $6.5 billion for Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO), for a total of $40.6 billion. If enacted, this would represent an approximately 21% drop from postsequestration levels for 
FY2013, and a 16% cut from last year’s House allocation.
 The House Appropriations Committee has also begun considering individual spending bills,including the Military Construction and Veterans Affairs appropriations bill and the HomelandSecurity appropriations bill. We expect to see the SFOPS appropriations bill in the coming weeksSenate Appropriations Chairwoman Barbara Mikulski (D-MD) said that she will meet with her subcommittee chairmen next week to discuss 302(b) allocations. She plans to have all 12appropriations bills for FY2014 through the appropriations committee by the August recess.Mikulski hopes to return the Senate to regular order this year so that spending will not have to bedetermined through an omnibus bill or a continuing resolution (CR).Rep. Nita Lowey (D-NY), ranking member of the House Appropriations Committee, has statedthat she is not as hopeful that all of the appropriations bills will be considered due largely to thedifference between the Senate and House discretionary spending caps. She said,
“[
Thedifference]
imperils this year’s appropriations process, making it nearly impossible to move al
l 12bills. Instead, we will likely see a few bills given reasonable allocations while others are left in
limbo indefinitely until we pass a CR.” House Appropriations Chairman Hal Rogers (R
-KY) hasalso conceded that passing all of the appropriations bills this year will be very difficult.Democrats on the House Appropriations Committee released a new report Wednesday on theeffects of sequestration. In terms of foreign assistance, the report said, "The full extent of sequestr 
ation’s impact on foreign policy is still unknown but the bottom line is that USAID and
State will be forced to do substantially less than they could have done without sequestration. Bynecessity, such cuts will force disengagement, putting at risk our vit
al interests worldwide.” The
entire report can be found here.The sections specific to foreign assistance can be found on pages 24-25.
Food Aid Reform
On Tuesday, the Senate Agriculture Committee marked up its version of the farm bill, and theHouse Agriculture Committee marked up its version of the farm bill the next day. The trade titlesof both bills, which authorize international programs, are virtually the same as the versions lastyear, although the Senate bill adds an undersecretary position at USDA for trade. During themark-ups, there was no mention of food aid reform and there were no amendments offered to the
 
2trade title. There are expectations that the farm bill will be considered on the Senate floor nextweek, but this has not been confirmed.On Wednesday, House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce (R-CA) and AfricaSubcommittee Ranking Member Karen Bass (D-CA) introduced the Food Aid Reform Act (H.R.1983)
,which they contend will “save $500 million over the next ten years while at the same time
enabling the United States to reach more people, m
ore quickly, at less expense.”
Reps. Royce
and Bass state that this bill will “eliminate U.S. procurement requirements for agriculturalcommodities; eliminate the costly and inefficient practice of ‘monetization’
; align nonemergencyfood aid with the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961; and exempt U.S. food aid provided from cargo
preference requirements.”
However, concerns have been raised that the bill does not provideauthorization for, and essentially de-authorizes, Food for Peace Title II nonemergency programs.We will continue to monitor the legislation and any potential amendments regarding authorizationfor nonemergency programs should the bill be marked up in committee.
 
The press release on theFood Aid Reform Act can be found here and a section-by-section summary of the bill here. 
Syria Legislation
On Wednesday, Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Robert Menendez (D-NJ) andRanking Member Bob Corker (R-
TN) introduced the
.
The legislationproposes limited provision of arms to the Syrian opposition; broader humanitarian assistanceauthority; and sanctions on arms and oil sales to the Assad regime. The Senate Foreign RelationsCommittee is scheduled to mark up this bill on Tuesday, May 21. The press release can be foundhere. 
UPCOMING HEARINGSHearing:
 
The Growing Crisis in Africa’s Sahel Region
 
Committee:
House Committee on Foreign Affairs
 –
Subcommittees on Terrorism,Nonproliferation, and Trade and on the Middle East and North Africa
Witnesses:Donald Yamamoto
, acting assistant secretary of state, Bureau of African Affairs, U.S.Department of State
Nancy Lindborg,
assistant administrator, Bureau for Democracy, Conflict andHumanitarian Assistance, U.S. Agency for International Development
Rudolph Atallah,
Michael S. Ansari Africa Center, Atlantic Council
Mima Nedelcovych,
Schaffer Global Group
When:
Tuesday, May 21, 2:00 p.m.
Where:
2172 Rayburn
Contact:
Hearing:
 
Different Perspectives on International Development 
Committee:
Senate Committee on Foreign Relations
Witnesses:Bill Lane
, Caterpillar 
John Murphy,
United States Chamber of Commerce
Todd Moss
, Center for Global Development
When:
Wednesday, May 22, 10:30 a.m.
Where:
419 Dirksen

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