State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs: FY2015 Budget and Appropriations [January 16, 2015]   [open pdf - 539KB]

"On December 16, 2014, Congress presented the Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act, 2015 (H.R. 83), to the President, who signed it into law (P.L. 113-235) that same day. In Division J of that act, Congress appropriated $51.98 billion for the Department of State and Foreign Operations, including $9.26 billion for Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO) and $2.53 billion to address the Ebola crisis. The annual State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs appropriations bill (also referred to here as 'foreign affairs appropriations' or 'foreign affairs funding') is the primary legislative vehicle through which Congress reviews the U.S. international affairs budget and influences executive branch foreign policymaking. (Foreign relations authorization and foreign assistance authorization legislation, required by law prior to State Department and foreign aid expenditures, are also available to Congress to influence foreign policy, but Congress has not passed either since FY2003 and FY1985, respectively. Instead, Congress has waived the requirement within the appropriations laws.) On March 4, 2014, the Obama Administration submitted to Congress its budget request for FY2015. The original request for State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs totaled $48.62 billion, including $5.91 billion for OCO funding. The Administration amended this request on June 27, 2014 by increasing OCO funds and updating export assistance estimates, thus raising the overall total to $50.08 billion. The Administration further amended the request in November 2014 for emergency funding to address the Ebola crisis in Africa and for civilian activities to counter the threat posed by the Islamic State (IS). The amended FY2015 request totaled $53.50 billion, 8.8% more than the FY2014-enacted level."

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CRS Report for Congress, R43569
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