House subcommittee provides $635 million for exchanges in FY 2011

The House Appropriations Subcommittee on State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs marked up its FY 2011 appropriations bill yesterday afternoon, providing $635 million for Department of State educational and cultural exchanges. This funding level constitutes a $1.8 million increase from the President’s FY 2011 request of $633.2 million and matches the FY 2010 enacted level of $635 million.

The overall State-Foreign Ops bill provided $52.656 billion, $4 billion below the President’s request and $3.89 billion above the FY 2010 enacted level. Other notable funding levels in the bill include:

  • $8.864 billion for Diplomatic and Consular Programs at the State Department, $678 million below the President’s request, but $637 million above the FY 2010 enacted level;
  • $1.41 billion for USAID’s Operating and Expenses Account to add 100 positions to USAID’s capacity in the field and reduce its dependency on the U.S. military to implement assistance programs;
  • An increased budget for the Peace Corps. Subcommittee chair Nita Lowey (D-NY) noted in her opening remarks, “The committee is aware of the bipartisan interest in increasing the size and strength of the Peace Corps and, despite significant budget constraints, provides the President’s budget request, $446 million, for the Peace Corps.”

[A full chart detailing the FY 2011 State-Foreign Ops appropriations bill is available on the subcommittee website.]

Lowey also commented in her opening remarks on “an important priority which this bill does not fund”: Afghanistan. She said that while the country is of the “utmost importance,” the bill does not include any of the $3.9 billion in the President’s request for assistance for Afghanistan. “I have deferred consideration of the President’s request for assistance in Afghanistan until such time that the Committee has had an opportunity to investigate the allegations [of corruption and diversion of U.S. and other donor aid],” Lowey said.

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