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House Committee Approves State Department Authorization Bill

On May 8, the House International Relations Committee approved, 42-3, the State Department authorization bill (H.R. 1950). Under the two-year measure, $4.2 billion would be provided in FY2004 and $4.4 billion in FY2005 for the State Department and its related agencies.

The committee approved, 23-22, an amendment, offered by Rep. Joseph Crowley (D-NY), that would authorize an additional $25 million each year for two years for the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA). Combined with the Administration’s yearly $25 million request, total funding for the UNFPA would be increased to $100 million over the next two years.

The FY2003 appropriations bill (P.L. 108-7) maintains current law allowing the President to withhold funds from any country or organization if the President certifies that the funds would be used for the performance of coerced abortions and involuntary sterilization. In FY2003, the President requested $25 million for UNFPA and Congress allocated $34 million. FY2002 funds were withheld by the administration due to UNFPA activities in China, and no FY2003 funds have been allocated to date.

The House is expected to consider H.R. 1950 next month.

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