Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues

House Appropriations Committee Approves FY13 State, Foreign Operations Spending Bill

The House Appropriations Committee on Thursday approved its FY 2013 State and Foreign Operations appropriations bill (.pdf), which would provide $40.1 billion in regular discretionary funding and an additional $8.2 billion in funding for ongoing efforts in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Pakistan, The Hill’s “On the Money” blog reports (Wasson, 5/17). Taken together, the bill would provide about $5 billion, or nine percent, less than FY 2012 funding levels, a committee press release notes (5/17). “The bill contains tough new limitations on aid,” including cutting all funding for the U.N. Population Fund (UNFPA) and reinstating the Mexico City policy, also known as the “global gag rule,” which prohibits foreign aid from going to any organization that performs abortions or provides information about or referral for the procedure as a method of family planning, according to The Hill.

Rep. Nita Lowey (D-N.Y.), ranking member of the Appropriations foreign operations subcommittee, offered an amendment that would have removed the Mexico City policy and the ban on funding for UNFPA while maintaining existing restrictions on UNFPA funding — which “preven[t] money from being used in China in support of its [so-called] one-child policy or forced abortions,” The Hill writes. However, it was defeated 23-27, the blog reports. Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.) proposed an amendment that “would have restored funding for UNFPA to provide maternal health care and treat genital mutilation,” but it was defeated with a tie vote of 24-24, according to the blog. And an amendment offered by Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.) “would have restored UNFPA funding in those least-developed countries where the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) is not present,” but it failed 22-27, the blog notes (5/17).

Additional details regarding the international health aspects of the FY13 appropriations bill proposal are available on the Kaiser Family Foundation’s Policy Tracker.