Senate Appropriations Committee Approves Spending Bill With Foreign Aid Funding For Haiti

The Senate Appropriations Committee Thursday unanimously voted to approve a $59 billion war funding measure that includes “more than $5 billion to replenish disaster aid accounts, as well as funding for Haitian earthquake relief,” the Associated Press reports (Taylor, 5/13).

The “bill includes $5.1 billion to replenish the Federal Emergency Management Agency disaster relief fund” and “$6.2 billion for State Department operations and foreign aid in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq and Haiti,” according to The Hill (Alarkon, 5/13). In March, President Barack Obama sent a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) “asking the Congress ‘for $2.8 billion in emergency funds to provide for costs associated with relief and reconstruction for Haiti, after its devastating earthquake on January 12’” (Kaiser Daily Global Health Report, 3/25). The AP reports that the Senate committee “added about $130 million to the request for Haiti, according to a [bill] summary” (5/13).

“Democrats aim to put the bill before the full Senate next week, with a goal of forwarding it to Obama’s desk by lawmakers’ Memorial Day recess,” Bloomberg BusinessWeek writes (Faler, 5/13).