Senate Committee Approves FY18 SFOPs Appropriations Bill, Votes To Reinstate UNFPA Funding, Overturn Mexico City Policy

Devex: Senate committee backs reversal of Mexico City policy
“The Senate appropriations committee unanimously approved a foreign aid funding bill that contains limited budget cuts, including amendments to both repeal the Mexico City policy — the so-called ‘global gag rule’ — and provide $10 million in climate change-related funding. The gag rule repeal is still likely to face significant opposition in the House…” (Saldiner, 9/8).

Foreign Policy: Senate Committee Votes Against Administration on Anti-Abortion Global Gag Rule
“In a vote that marks a rejection of the Trump administration’s foreign aid budget and approach to family planning policy abroad, the Senate Appropriations Committee moved Thursday to reinstate funding for the United Nations Population Fund and overturn the global gag rule, a longstanding Republican policy that forbids U.S. support for international health organizations that offer or discuss abortion services…” (Mellen, 9/7).

Foreign Policy: Senate Panel Rejects Trump Plan for Cutting Foreign Assistance
“…The Senate Appropriations Committee approved [$51.35 billion] for the State Department, foreign operations, and related programs in its 2018 appropriations bill — almost $11 billion above President Trump’s request. … Among other things, the bill provides over $6 billion for humanitarian assistance [and disaster relief] — almost $1 billion above the administration’s request. The panel is also restoring $10 million in U.S. funding for the U.N. climate change agency, overruling Trump’s call to end spending on it. In a surprising move, the committee also passed an amendment overturning Trump’s policies limiting funding and access to women’s reproductive health care and family planning abroad…” (Gramer, 9/7).

POLITICO: Senate appropriators rebuke Trump on abortion policy
“…Overriding the ban — which Republican presidents customarily put in place days after being inaugurated — would mark an embarrassment for the Trump administration. But the appropriations bill is quite unlikely to be finalized as written. Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) noted at the markup the GOP-led House would insist on keeping the Trump policy in place…” (Haberkorn, 9/7).

STAT: Senate panel votes to reverse Mexico City Policy, signaling support for global family planning assistance
“…[F]amily planning advocates expressed little optimism that the measure would actually be adopted. Capitol Hill’s current conventional wisdom also holds that a full budget deal is less likely than a continuing resolution that largely preserves the spending status quo. The vote, nonetheless, is another indication of GOP legislators’ reluctance to go along with many White House positions on health, from repealing the Affordable Care Act to reducing funding for biomedical research to its desire to more specifically direct money destined for overseas health organizations…” (Facher/Swetlitz, 9/7).

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