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Subcommittee Approves Foreign Operations Spending Bill

In a surprisingly easy mark-up, the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Foreign Operations, Export Financing, and Related Agencies approved, by voice vote, its FY2002 spending bill (as-yet-unnumbered). While the bill has a long history of controversy over funding for international family planning programs, the subcommittee mark-up was not the subject of such controversy this year. Lengthy debate on an amendment to repeal restrictions on international family planning programs is expected during the full committee mark-up.

Overall, the bill would provide $15.2 billion in FY2001, the same amount requested by the President and a $300 million increase over last year.

As approved by the subcommittee, the bill includes a substantial increase for international HIV/AIDS programs. Overall, the bill would provide $474 million for global HIV/AIDS programs, an increase over the $300 million appropriated in FY2001. Of that amount, $100 million would be set aside for a U.S. contribution to an international HIV/AIDS trust fund. While the President has pledged a $200 million contribution, the other $100 million would be provided through the Department of Health and Human Services, which is funded under the Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education spending bill.

Funding for the Child Survival and Health Programs Fund would be increased to $1.4 billion in FY2002, a $169 million increase over last year and $396 million more than requested by the President.

International family planning programs would receive $425 million in FY2002, the same amount appropriated last year. Additionally, the U.S. contribution to the United Nations Population Fund would be level-funded at $25 million.

Rep. Nita Lowey (D-NY) offered an amendment that would have allowed nongovernmental organizations that use their own money to perform abortions abroad or lobby foreign governments on abortion policy to receive U.S. funds. The language was identical to an amendment approved by the House International Relations Committee during consideration of the FY2002 State Department reauthorization bill (H.R. 1646) (see The Source, 5/4/01, p. 3). The Lowey amendment was defeated, by voice vote, after little debate.

Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) offered and withdrew an amendment that would have provided an additional $100 million for malaria and tuberculosis prevention and treatment.

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