State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs: FY2012 Budget and Appropriations [August 6, 2011]   [open pdf - 578KB]

"Some in the 112th Congress view the foreign affairs budget as a place to cut funds in order to reduce the budget deficit. Foreign affairs expenditures typically amount to about 1% of the annual budget. Others, including Members of Congress of both political parties, view a robust foreign affairs budget as essential for America's national security and foreign policy interests. The State Department, Foreign Operations, and Related Agencies appropriations bills, in addition to funding U.S. diplomatic and foreign aid activities, have been the primary legislative vehicle through which Congress reviews the U.S. international affairs budget and influences executive branch foreign policy making in recent years. (Congress has not amended foreign policy issues through a complete authorization process for State Department diplomatic activities since 2003 and for foreign aid programs since 1985.) After a period of general decline in the late 1980s and 1990s, funding for State Department operations, international broadcasting, and foreign aid rose steadily from FY2002 to FY2010, largely because of ongoing assistance to Iraq and Afghanistan, new global health programs, and increasing assistance to Pakistan. It declined again in FY2011 when Congress passed a continuing resolution (P.L. 112-10) significantly reducing U.S. government-wide expenditures, including foreign affairs. Funding for international affairs programs is expected to continue declining as the 112th Congress focuses on budget reduction measures in all appropriations for the next decade to meet objectives in the Budget Control Act of 2011 (P.L. 112-25). […] The House-passed FY2012 budget resolution (H.Con.Res. 34, agreed to on April 15, 2011) calls for significant cuts in the foreign affairs budget. It provides $45.3 billion in new budget authority for international affairs programs, as compared to the House and Senate committee-approved allocation of $54 billion the previous year. The Senate did not pass an FY2012 budget resolution. This report analyzes the FY2012 request, including State Department, international broadcasting, and foreign aid highlights; recent-year funding trends; and congressional action related to FY2012 State-Foreign Operations legislation. This report will be updated to reflect congressional action. For details on the FY2011 State-Foreign Operations Appropriations, see CRS [Congressional Research Service] Report R41228, 'State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs: FY2011 Budget and Appropriations.'"

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CRS Report for Congress, R41905
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