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Public Policy Update 5-4-2012

Public Policy Update 5-4-2012

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Published by: InterAction on May 04, 2012
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PUBLIC POLICY UPDATEMay 4, 2012WASHINGTON UPDATEHouse SFOps allocation low; mark-up expected May 9
Last week the House Appropriations Committee approved its subcommittee (302(b)) allocationsfor the coming fiscal year (2013), dividing up the discretionary spending allocation it was given bythe House budget resolution among the 12 appropriations subcommittees. The State, ForeignOperations (SFOps) subcommittee allocation is about $5 billion (9 percent) below what wasenacted for FY2012, with about $2 billion of that reduction coming from “base” or “enduring”funding and the other $3 billion coming from Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO) funding.This is in contrast to the Senate allocation, which proposes overall level funding for SFOpsrelative to FY2012, but with a significant shift of funds from OCO back to the base. The followingtable summarizes the numbers:
State, Foreign Operations subcommittee levels
(billions of dollars)Enduring OCO
FY2012 enacted 42.14 11.203
Administration FY2013 request 46.469 8.245
Senate allocation FY2013 49.843 3.174
Senate proposed change from FY2012 + 7.703 - 8.029
- 0.326
House allocation FY2013 40.132 8.245
House proposed change from FY2012 - 2.008 - 2.958
- 4.966
House vs. Senate (FY2013 allocations) - 9.711 + 5.071
- 4.64
Some key points to remember in considering all this:
The House budget resolution set a total discretionary spending allocation ($1.028 trillion)that was $19 billion less than the cap set by the Budget Control Act of 2011 ($1.047trillion), which is what the Senate is using. Put more plainly, the House AppropriationsCommittee has $19 billion less to work with than its Senate counterpart. Of that $19 billiondifference with the Senate, about $4.6 billion of it is being proposed in State, ForeignOperations.
The White House has said it will not sign any appropriations bills until the House agrees tostick with the discretionary spending caps agreed to in the Budget Control Act.
The universal expectation is that few (if any) appropriations bills will be signed into lawbefore the November election results are in. A Continuing Resolution (CR) will thus beneeded to continue funding into the new fiscal year, which starts October 1. Reports arethat even Republicans in the House are assuming that that CR will allow funding at thelevel set by the Budget Control Act for FY2013, rather than the level set by the Housebudget resolution.The House SFOps subcommittee is expected to mark up its bill next week, probably Wednesday,May 9. The Senate is expected to mark up its bill the following week, probably “polling it out” ofsubcommittee early in the week (a process by which the members of the subcommittee simplyindicate their approval of the bill by email or phone call, avoiding the need for a meeting) and thenmarking it up in full committee later in the week.
: Markup
: House Budget Committee
: Full committee markup of:
H.R. 4966,
Sequester Replacement Act of 2012 
Sequester Replacement Reconciliation Act of 2012 
: May 7, 2:00 p.m.
: 210 Cannon House Office Building
: Assessing U.S. Foreign Policy Priorities and Needs Amidst Economic Challenges in theMiddle East
: House Foreign Affairs Committee – Subcommittee on the Middle East and SouthAsia
Jeffrey Feltman
, Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs
Mara Rudman
, Assistant Administrator for the Middle East Bureau, USAID
Mark Ward
, Deputy Special Coordinator for Middle East Transitions, State Department
: May 9, 2:00 p.m.
: 2172 Rayburn House Office Building
HEARING SUMMARYLRA, Boko Haram, al-Shabab, AQIM and Other Sources of Instability in Africa
House Foreign Affairs CommitteeApril 25, 2012Witnesses:
Donald Y. Yamamoto
, principal deputy assistant secretary of state for African affairs,State Department
Daniel Benjamin
, coordinator for counterterrorism, State Department
Amanda Dory
, deputy assistant secretary for African affairs, Department of Defense
3Opening Statements:
*Note: committee members chose to submit their statements for the record rather than read them aloud.
Donald Y. Yamamoto
Military solutions to terrorism are ineffective unless they are combined with other efforts.
The current situation in Mali presents significant challenges, as the country faces severalsimultaneous crises.
Extremist groups operate by exploiting porous borders and poor rule-of-law conditions.
Good governance, economic growth and improved humanitarian conditions are essentialfor improving the security situation in Africa.
Daniel Benjamin
The U.S. is utilizing all methods available to fight extremists, including diplomacy,development, military and law enforcement.
While extremist groups pose a serious threat in the region, the failure of their ideologies toresonate with a majority of the population helps to contain the danger.
The fall of the Libyan regime resulted in the movement of arms and fighters across theSahara and into the Sahel.
This helped spark the ongoing Tuareg rebellion in Mali.
The instability caused by the rebellion and subsequent coup has helped give coverfor AQIM.
The United States has been encouraging the government of Nigeria to adjust its strategiesfor dealing with Boko Haram.
We are seeking a shift from a strictly military approach to one that addresses thegrievances of civilians living in the affected areas.
Progress is being made in some of the struggles against extremist groups.
Ethiopian and African Union forces have significantly weakened al-Shabab.
Algeria, Mauritania and Niger are increasing cooperation in their efforts againstAQIM.
Amanda Dory
By assisting our African partners to combat threats, the U.S. helps to create the necessaryspace for political development and reform.
The U.S. is seeking a “small-footprint” approach in Africa.
Reliance on joint military exercises, rotational forces and advising.
The Trans-Sahara Counterterrorism Partnership is a vital part of the Department ofDefense (DoD) Africa strategy.
While some groups have had their capabilities significantly degraded, the increasingcapacity of Boko Haram to carry out operations in a serious concern.Questioning:
Chair Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL)
1. Describe the goals and current status of U.S. operations against the LRA, and describethe efforts to use an early-warning system to prevent attacks.
The goals are to train and assist government forces in affected countries, and tofurther isolate Joseph Kony.

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