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Committees Approve More FY2009 Spending Bills

This week, the House Appropriations Subcommittee on State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs considered its FY2009 spending bill (as-yet-unnumbered). The Senate Appropriations Committee considered FY2009 spending bills for State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs (as-yet-unnumbered); Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies (as-yet-unnumbered); and Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies (as-yet-unnumbered).

Additional information on programs important to women and their families will be available when the report accompanying each bill is printed.

House Action

Approved by voice vote on July 16, the House Appropriations Subcommittee on State, Foreign Operations, and Related Agencies FY2009 spending bill would provide $36.62 billion in discretionary funds for FY2009, $3.82 billion over FY2008.

According to a summary of the bill, the subcommittee would provide $809 million for the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), $179 million over FY2008 and $41 million over the president’s request.

Global Health Programs: Global health programs would receive $7.278 billion in FY2009. Of that amount, global HIV/AIDS programs would receive $5.519 billion, which is $400 million above the president’s request and includes $600 million for the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria. The Global Health and Child Survival Account would receive $1.86 billion, $147 million over FY2008 and $283 million over the administration’s request. Child Survival and Maternal Health programs would receive $455 million in FY2009, $85.6 million over the president’s request.

Family planning and reproductive health programs would receive $600 million, nearly $300 million over the president’s request. Included in that amount is $60 million for the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), “which is limited to specific purposes, such as safe motherhood initiatives, reproductive health services, and fistula care.”

Refugee assistance: Refugee assistance programs would receive $824 million in FY2009, $59.9 million above the president’s request. This is in addition to the $350 million provided in the FY2008 supplemental appropriations bill (P.L. 110-252).

Food assistance: In addition to the $200 million provided in the FY2008 supplemental, the subcommittee would provide $375 million for agricultural programs in FY2009.

International Peacekeeping: The bill would provide $778 million for peacekeeping efforts in Sudan. This amount includes $414 million for efforts in Darfur and $16 million for peacekeeping operations overall.

Senate Action

On July 17, the Senate Appropriations Committee approved FY2009 spending bills for Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies, 29-0; Military Construction, Veterans’ Affairs, and Related Agencies, 29-0; and State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs, 28-1. The House Appropriations Committee approved its version of the Military Construction, Veterans Affairs spending bill on June 24 (see The Source, 6/27/08). The House Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture passed its version of the FY2009 appropriations bill on June 19 (see The Source, 6/20/08).

Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies

The measure would provide $97.2 billion in mandatory and discretionary funds for FY2009. This includes $20.4 billion in discretionary funds, and $76.8 billion for mandatory programs, such as food stamps and other nutrition programs.

Food Security: According to the committee summary, the measure would provide $6.75 billion for the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC), $1.13 billion over FY2008 and $650 million over the president’s request.

The bill would allocate $155 million for the Commodity Supplemental Food Program, $15.285 million above FY2008; the president proposed to eliminate this program. The summary notes, “This funding level is intended to protect the current participation of 464,000 low-income seniors, and 30,000 low-income women, infants, and children.”

The bill would provide $1.225 billion for the P.L. 480 Food Program, $15.036 million above the FY2008 level and the same as the budget request. In addition to the $84 million provided in the recently passed Farm Bill (P.L. 110-246), the McGovern-Dole Food for Education program would receive $100 million in FY2009, $700,000 over FY2008 and $8 million less than the budget request.

Food and Drug Administration (FDA): The FDA would receive $2.038 billion, $324.627 million over FY2008 and $5.194 million over the president’s request.

Military Construction, Veterans’ Affairs, and Related Agencies

According to the committee summary, the bill would provide $73 billion in discretionary funds, $3.65 billion over the administration’s request.

The bill includes $250 million to establish a new health outreach program for veterans in rural areas. The committee also notes, “[t]he number of women veterans receiving care from the [Veterans Administration] is expected to double in the next five years, with women combat veterans expected to make up a large portion of the increase. The bill, therefore, provides an additional $5 million for outreach and transitional assistance to women veterans.”

Military construction, family housing, and the Base Closure and Realignment Commission would receive $24.7 billion in FY2009, $344 million over the president’s request.

State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs

Like the House version, the Senate bill would provide $36.62 billion in discretionary funding for FY2009.

Department of State

The bill would allocate $12 billion to the State Department in FY2009, $730 million above FY2008 and $194,000 below the president’s request.

International Peacekeeping: International peacekeeping activities would receive $1.65 billion in FY2009, $427 million over FY2008 and $153 million over the administration’s request.

United States Agency for International Development: USAID would receive $817 million in FY2009 for operations, $187 million above FY2008 and $50 million above the budget request.

Global Health Programs: The bill would provide $6.74 billion for global health programs, an increase of $248 million over FY2008 and $383 million above the president’s request.

Within that amount, Child Survival and Maternal Health would receive $500 million, $54 million above FY2008 and $130 million above the president’s request. In addition, the Global HIV/AIDS program would receive $5.129 billion, $117 million over FY2008 and equal to the president’s request. Of this amount, $550 million is for the Global Fund, equal to the FY2008 level and $350 million over the president’s request.

Family planning and reproductive health programs would receive $520 million in FY2009, including $45 million for UNFPA. The amount for family planning programs is $15 million above the FY2008 enacted level and $219 million above the budget request. Like its House counterpart, the measure lifts some funding restrictions on UNFPA, including those relating to emergency obstetric care, preventing unintended pregnancy, treatment of obstetric fistula, and addressing genital mutilation. However, the bill maintains the restriction that prevents funding for “any organization or program that, as determined by the president of the United States supports or participates in the management of a program of coercive abortion or involuntary sterilization.” The bill also would ban UNFPA funds from being used in China.

Unlike the House bill, the Senate version would repeal the Mexico City policy, which bans overseas nongovernmental organization that receive U.S. aid from using their own money to provide referrals for, or perform, abortions, or to lobby foreign governments on abortion policy.

Migration and Refugee Assistance: The bill would allocate $1.1 billion in FY2009 for migration and refugee assistance, $277 million above FY2008 and $336 million above the administration’s request.

Food Security: The measure also would establish a new global food security initiative to provide funds to purchase local food during the current food crisis. The initiative would receive $150 million in FY2009.

Report Language

Financial Services, General Government, and Related Agencies

On July 15, the Senate Appropriations Committee released its report on the FY2009 Financial Services, General Government, and Related Agencies spending bill (S. 3260). The committee report accompanying the bill includes language detailing a number of programs affecting women and their families. Although report language is not binding, federal agencies give careful consideration to such language as it indicates programs or initiatives that are particularly important to appropriators.

Small Business Administration (SBA)
The committee prohibited the SBA from implementing a proposed rule for the Women’s Procurement Program that would have limited the number of industries in which women-owned businesses are underrepresented to four (p. 114). The House held a hearing on this proposed procurement rule on January 16 (see The Source, 1/18/08); the Senate held one on January 30 (see The Source, 2/1/08).

Federal Trade Commission (FTC)
The committee “has included $250,000 for the [FTC] to establish a study commission on food marketed to children. The study commission shall study and provide recommendations for a common approach to standards and categories for marketing and labeling of the nutritional quality of foods that are oriented to, or represent a significant dietary component for, children and youth…the study commission should develop nutrition standards for foods and beverages appropriate for labeling and marketing foods that represent a significant element of children’s diets (p. 80).”

In addition, the committee addresses the FTC’s efforts to study “marketing of violent games, movies, and music to children.” The committee states that “The FTC should continue with, and expand upon, its efforts in this area. The committee directs the [FTC] to continue to engage in consumer research and workshops, underage shopper-retail compliance surveys, and marketing data collection. The committee also “commends the FTC for recognizing the unique and difficult challenge posed by the Internet, an international phenomenon that lacks borders, to protect the safety of our children (p. 80-81).”

Office of Personnel Management (OPM)
With regard to dependent care programs, “the committee is aware of steps OPM is taking to improve communication about dependent care programs, and has seen some positive results, especially in the use of the Dependent Care Flexible Spending Accounts [DCFSA]. The committee is supportive of OPM’s future plans, many of which should be on-going activities. No later than 45 days after enactment, OPM shall report to the committee timelines, including start and/or completion dates” for various activities to ensure progress and provide for accountability in regards to this matter. Some of the activities include “conduct[ing] outreach to affinity groups such as Executive Women in Government and Blacks in Government to push the FSAFEDS [Flexible Spending Account for Federal Employees] Program, including the feasibility of whether this should be an annual activity” and “add[ing] a link on child care subsidies to the front page of the OPM website (p.99-100).”

Agency/Program FY2008 President’s Request FY2009 Senate Subcommittee Mark
District of Columbia Courts (p. 59) $223.92 million $223.92 million $251.625 million
Small Business Administration (p. 109) $568.988 million $658.508 million $765.798 million
Small Business Development Centers (p. 111) $97.12 million $87.12 million $110 million
Women’s Business Centers (p. 111) $13 million $11.88 million $13.45 million
Women’s Business Council (p. 111) $743,000 $743,000 $775,000
Microloan Technical Assistance (p. 111) $15 million $0 $20 million
HUBZones program (p. 111) $2.1 million $0 $2.174 million

Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies

On July 15, the Senate Appropriations Committee released its report on the FY2009 Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies spending bill (S. 3261).

Department of Housing and Urban Development

As detailed in the chart below, the report includes funding for the Family Unification Program, which assists families that have been separated or are facing separation due to a lack of housing (p. 159). The program also provides vouchers to youth ages 18 to 21 that are aging out of foster care, or those age 16 or older who lack adequate housing. The report states that “The committee also hopes that these vouchers will be used to serve victims of domestic violence who lack a safe and stable home environment.”

Department of Transportation

According to the report, “The committee noted last year that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) had identified that parents were experiencing some challenges with appropriately using the Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children [LATCH] installation systems. The committee is therefore pleased that NHTSA took steps to update the child restraint system’s ease of use ratings related to these systems, and hopes NHTSA will continue to work to make these systems more effective.”

Agency/Program FY2008 President’s Request FY2009 Subcommittee Mark
DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION
Minority Business Resource Center Program (p. 14) $893,000 $912,000 $912,000
Minority Business Outreach (p.15) $2.97 million $3.056 million $3.056 million
Child Safety and Child Booster Seat Safety Incentive Grants (p. 106) $6 million $7 million $7 million
DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT
Family Unification Program (p. 159) $20 million $0 $20 million
Housing Opportunities for People With AIDS (HOPWA) (p. 167) $300.1 million $300.1 million $315.1 million
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