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House Appropriations Subcommittee Approves State, Foreign Operations Spending Bill

On July 13, the House Appropriations Subcommittee on State, Foreign Operations, and Related Agencies passed, by voice vote, the FY2018 State and Foreign Operations spending bill (as-yet-unnumbered).

According to the committee summary, the bill would provide $47.4 billion in discretionary and overseas contingency operations (OCO) funding. This amount is $10 billion below FY2017.

The Department of State would receive $15.4 billion in base and OCO funding, a decrease of $2.6 billion from FY2017. The measure would reduce funding for the United Nations and international organizations by $600 million compared to the FY2017 level, and would prohibit funding for the UN Population Fund (UNFPA). Funding for UN Women also would be eliminated.

The bill would provide $1.5 billion for the United States Agency for International Development, a decrease of $115 million from FY2017. Bilateral Economic Assistance would receive $22.7 billion, $4.2 billion below FY2017. The bill includes $6 billion to combat HIV/AIDS around the globe. In addition, family planning and reproductive health programs would be capped at $461 million.

The measure would expand the Mexico City Policy to include all global health programs. The policy currently prohibits U.S. assistance to foreign non-governmental organizations that promote or perform abortions.

The bill maintains the Tiahrt Amendment, which ensures that family planning programs are voluntary; the Helms Amendment, which prohibits foreign assistance from being used for abortions; and the Kemp-Kasten Amendment, which prohibits funds to organizations that support coercive abortion or involuntary sterilization.

The bill also would provide funds to “promote gender equality in United States government diplomatic and development efforts by raising the status, increasing the participation, and protecting the rights of women and girls worldwide.”

Additional details will be provided when the committee releases its report.

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