The Collective Public Policy Voice of the Exchange Community

By Andrea Bodine

With the end of the Fiscal Year quickly approaching on September 30, Congress is racing to finish its work on the FY24 appropriations bills before heading out on August recess next week.  

Both the House and Senate Appropriations Committees have completed their subcommittee and full committee markups of their respective State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs (SFOPS) bills in recent weeks. Educational and cultural exchanges were funded at $700.95M (approx. 10% decrease) by the House bill and $779.5M (approx. 0.25% increase) by the Senate bill. See the chart below for more details and a comparison with the President’s budget request and current enacted level. 

Here are the key things you need to know: 

  • We know from the details available that notable cuts in the House bill impact Professional and Cultural Exchanges, including the International Visitor Leadership Program. The bill also includes a slight decrease for Academic Programs, but outlines increases for Young Leaders Initiatives. 
  • On the other hand, the Senate bill holds Professional and Cultural Exchanges steady, and provides increases to Exchanges Support and the American Spaces program. However, it also includes cuts to the Academic Programs topline.  
  • The funding cuts in the House bill, while disappointing, are not unexpected given the change in majority, debt ceiling deal, and concessions made by Speaker McCarthy in his campaign for the role. We are heartened by the slight increase in the Senate bill, which is a win in this difficult climate.  
  • There will be a challenging road ahead to find a compromise between these two bills. In the 11 legislative days after the upcoming August recess and before the end of the fiscal year, lawmakers must overcome not only the divide over funding in the bills, but also pressure from House Republicans for even more cuts and a desire to pass each of the twelve appropriations bills individually.  

These appropriations bills remind us of how important our collective advocacy was this cycle in avoiding severe cuts in this particularly tight funding environment. They also demonstrate the long journey to reach our funding goals and therefore, how we must keep up the pressure and not become complacent after the past number of years with steady increases.  



  FY23 Adjusted Enacted  FY24 Biden Administration Request  FY24 House Bill  FY24 Senate Bill 
Total  777.5 M   783.7 M 700.95 M  779.5 M 
Academic Programs  389,639  381,766  387,274  373,939 
Fulbright Program  287,500  282,250  287,500  287,800 
Madeleine K. Albright Young Women Leaders Program  1500  1,500    1,500 
Global Academic Exchanges  63,981  62,702    63,981 
Special Academic Exchanges  22,158  18,875  22,133  22,158 
Benjamin Gilman International Scholarship Program  17,000  16,200  17,000  17,000 
South Pacific Scholarships  1,000  1,000  1,000  1,000 
Vietnam Education Foundation Act      2,500  2,500 
Tibet Fund  675  700  675   
Professional and Cultural Exchanges  227,500  222,515  185,759  227,500 
International Visitor Program  105,000  102,627  100,151  105,000 
Citizen Exchanges Program  115,000  113,388    115,000 
Congress-Bundestag Exchange Program      4,125  4,125 
Special Professional and Cultural Exchanges  7,000  6,500    7500 
Ngwang Choephel Fellows  750  750  750  750 
J. Christopher Stevens Virtual Exchange  6,000  5,000    6,000 
Arctic Exchange Program  750  750  750  750 
Special Initiatives    66,814  49,100  55,500 
Young Leaders Initiatives  37,500  48,814  43,100  37,500 
Countering State Disinformation and Pressure  12,000  12,000    12,000 
Community Engagement Exchange Program  6,000  6,000    6,000 
Pawel Adamowicz Exchange Program  1,000  1,000  1,000   
Program and Performance  15,800  13,530    13,500 
Exchanges Support  89,061  99,090    92,100 
American Spaces  16,000  14,939    17,000