Washington, D.C. (June 25, 2014) – As Senate and House Appropriations Committees conclude their markups on Fiscal Year 2015 spending for State and Foreign Operations, strengths have emerged in both chambers’ bills, the Better World Campaign said today.
“Senate and House appropriators have each created a roadmap to U.S. foreign policy spending in the year ahead — each with respective virtues that should be prioritized as the full House and Senate come to a final agreement later this year,” said Peter Yeo, executive director of the Better World Campaign. “While the Senate measure includes necessary and higher finding levels for peacekeeping, the House bill presents a wise way forward on advancing our global health priorities. Both chambers’ appropriators admirably protected total International Affairs funding from further cuts.”
“The budget debate comes as the U.S. is asking the United Nations to confront unprecedented demands in places like the Central African Republic, Mali, and South Sudan,” added Yeo. “The UN is scaling up its efforts in these critical regions at the request of the U.S., and doing it at one eighth the cost of us going it alone. We need a budget that will both address significant shortfalls from FY 14 and help put a stop to the brutality and instability in the world’s most vulnerable regions — and bipartisan polling has shown that the overwhelming majority of Americans agree. The Senate bill uniquely achieves this goal.”
“At the same time, the full picture of international safety and well-being must consider global health, including strong funding for malaria, the global eradication of polio, and voluntary family planning through the United Nations Population Fund.”
Key measures in the two bills include:
U.S. Funding for International Peacekeeping
The Senate bill provides $2.5 billion for the Contributions to International Peacekeeping Activities (CIPA) account. This is in line with the Administration’s FY’15 request, making real progress on getting the U.S. out of the red at the UN and back in good standing with our allies and international partners.
The Senate bill also wisely lifts the peacekeeping cap for FY’15, allowing the U.S. to pay its peacekeeping dues at the full assessed rate of 28 percent, and would prevent us from falling back into arrears; the House bill has it at 25 percent. The Senate bill also provides greater flexibility for funding the new UN mission in CAR.
U.S. Funding for the UN Regular Budget and Specialized Agencies
- The Senate bill provides $1.5 billion for the Contributions to International Organizations (CIO) account, which funds the U.S.-assessed contribution to the UN’s regular budget, along with other UN-system, regional, and non-UN organizations. This is in line with the President’s request and almost $200 million higher than the House levels.
- The Senate bill provides strong funding for the International Organizations and Programs (IO&P) account, which funds voluntary U.S. contributions to a number of key UN agencies and programs, including the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF), UN Development Program (UNDP), UN Population Fund (UNFPA), and UN Women.
Global Health Funding
- The House bill provides $732 million in funding for USAID maternal and child health programs, which represents an increase of $37 million over the FY15 President’s request and an increase of $27 million over the FY14 enacted levels, including $200 million for the GAVI Alliance and a $51 million allocation to USAID polio programs. An additional $8 million in funding for polio eradication programs is allocated in the ESF account, bringing the total for polio funding to $59million.
- The Senate bill includes $644 million in funding for international family planning and reproductive health, including restoring funding for UNFPA at $37.5 million.
“We appreciate the commitment of the appropriators to advance a strong U.S.-UN relationship—one in which we can share the burden with our allies—and to reduce the global burden of disease,” said Yeo. “We urge Congress to advance a final bill that fully funds the United Nations and our peace, security, and global health priorities.”
About the Better World Campaign
The Better World Campaign, an initiative of the Better World Fund, works to strengthen the relationship between the United States and the United Nations. It encourages U.S. leadership to enhance the UN’s ability to carry out its invaluable international work on behalf of peace, progress, freedom, and justice. For more information, visit www.betterworldcampaign.org.