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The House Appropriations Committee took a big step on July 1 by passing a funding bill that would vastly increase funding for international diplomacy, development, peacebuilding, and climate action. 

The State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs funding bill, which provides a total of over $62 billion for international affairs programs, a 12% increase from last year, was approved in committee on a party-line vote of 32-25.

The next step is for the bill to be considered on the House floor—most likely as part of a larger appropriations package in the fall. The Senate has not yet begun work on the bill.

Here are five things we are celebrating in the House bill:

1. Robust support for peacebuilding

The bill includes $4.2 billion in support to key peacebuilding accounts, an increase of more than $665 million over last year’s levels. If enacted, this would be the highest level of funding in six years. In particular, the bill increased the Complex Crises Fund by 30% and the Prevention and Stabilization Fund by 25%. Both of these accounts are key to implementation of the Global Fragility Act.

Although the House committee didn’t meet FCNL’s request of $60 million for the Complex Crises Fund, $200 million for the Prevention and Stabilization Fund, or $25 million for the Atrocities Prevention fund, its increases to peacebuilding are nonetheless significant.  

2. Major investments in the global pandemic response and prevention

While the United States begins the road to recovery from COVID-19, the pandemic is still decimating families, communities, and economies around the world. Continued support to global health programs remains critical to save lives and prevent conflict.

The bill invests $10.6 billion in global health programs, nearly a billion and a half dollars more than last year. It also invests $1 billion in global health security efforts that aim to prevent future pandemics by strengthening and rebuilding the global public health infrastructure.

3. Commitment to multilateralism

As the past year has clearly shown, no one is safe until everyone is safe. To support multilateralism, the bill includes over $1.6 billion to fully fund U.S. dues to the United Nations, and more than 40 other international organizations, such as the world Health Organization (WHO). This is an increase of $427 million over last year’s level and strongly reaffirms U.S. commitment to global engagement.

The legislation also includes funds to pay down over $80 million in U.S. debt to the UN regular budget that was accumulated by withholding funding for human rights activities.

4. Fulfillment of treaty obligations to UN peacekeeping

The bill funds U.S. dues to UN peacekeeping at the fully assessed rate, while suspending the arbitrary 25% cap that Congress placed on U.S. contributions. This cap has resulted in the accumulation of over $1.1 billion in U.S. debt to the UN in the past four years. The bill provides $325 million to begin paying off this debt.

UN Peacekeeping missions protect civilians, diminish ongoing violence, and reduce the likelihood that armed conflict will return, all while costing the United States eight times less than similar U.S. military deployments would.

5. Strong support for climate action

The bill would enable the United States to once again play a meaningful and constructive role in the international response to climate change. Strengthening the government’s ability to address and respond to climate change, the bill provides funds to train USAID staff in the areas of climate change mitigation and adaptation.

It also provides funding for international programs that address climate change. It recommends $150 million (an increase of approximately $9 million) for the Global Environment Facility (GEF), and $1.6 billion for the Green Climate Fund (GCF), to which the United States pledged (but never provided) $3 billion. Both the GEF and the GCF help developing countries respond to the impact of climate change.

Ursala Knudsen-Latta

Ursala Knudsen-Latta

Legislative Manager, Peacebuilding
Ursala is the Legislative Manager for Peacebuilding. Ursala lobbies Congress to change U.S. foreign policy from an overly militarized and security-driven approach to one that prevents, mitigates, and transforms violent conflict and builds sustainable peace.
Clarence Edwards

Clarence Edwards

Legislative Director, Sustainable Energy and Environment
Clarence Edwards leads FCNL’s work on sustainable energy and environmental policy. He brings to FCNL extensive experience in government relations, issue advocacy, and strategic communications.