House Appropriations Committee Debates FY14 State, Foreign Operations Appropriations Bill
“The House Appropriations Committee met on Wednesday to debate and amend the [FY 2014] State and Foreign Operations Appropriations Bill, which emerged from subcommittee level last week” and “funds U.S. diplomatic and foreign assistance programs, as well as contributions to international multilateral organizations and initiatives,” Devex reports (Igoe, 7/25). The appropriations bill includes funding for U.S. global health programs at USAID and the State Department, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation’s “Policy Tracker,” which also includes details about the bill’s proposed spending for certain global health programs (7/19). “Any amendment that proposed to increase funding beyond the subcommittee’s draft bill was voted down by the Republican majority,” Devex notes. Democrats “passionately defend[ed] contributions to multilateral initiatives the House committee’s bill eliminates or cuts, in particular United Nations agencies like UNICEF and the U.N. Population Fund, the largest multilateral family planning and reproductive health program in world,” the news service notes. “At the hearing, Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.) offered an … amendment to the draft bill, requiring new reporting indicators from the Office of the Global AIDS Coordinator to measure the readiness of PEPFAR partner countries ‘to accept greater ownership of PEPFAR-supported programs,'” Devex writes, adding, “This was the only amendment Democrats offered that garnered enough votes to pass” (7/25). The Center for Global Health Policy’s “Science Speaks” blog details the Lee amendment, noting, “It is unclear when this measure will move to the full House of Representatives for consideration” (Aziz, 7/24).