H.R. 2410: Obama Administration Supports Bill But …

Thanks to DJ for alerting us on this June 10, 2009 statement released by OMB on the Obama Administration’s policy on H.R.2410. Reprinted in full below.


H.R. 2410 — Foreign Relations Authorization Act, Fiscal Years 2010 and 2011

(Rep. Berman, D-California)

The Administration supports House passage of H.R. 2410, as reported. However, the Administration would like to work with the Congress to address provisions that restrict the President’s flexibility to conduct foreign affairs or that raise managerial, budgetary, constitutional, or other concerns so that the legislation is aligned with the Administration’s foreign policy and management priorities. This Statement of Administration Policy does not address H.R. 1886, although the Administration understands that the Rule proposes to incorporate this bill into H.R. 2410.

The Administration strongly supports the bill’s inclusion of authorizations of appropriations at levels that will strengthen U.S. diplomatic capacity and will allow the United States to meet its financial obligations to the United Nations and other international organizations and to begin synchronizing payments to international organizations where the United States has been chronically late in paying its assessments.

The Administration also welcomes the inclusion of a number of authorities in the bill that support diplomatic operations. In particular, the Administration supports the inclusion of authorities that eliminate the cut in basic pay faced by entry- and mid-level Foreign Service officers who serve overseas, facilitate the reemployment of retirees to support certain critical mission needs, and provide additional flexibility to manage State Department and Broadcasting Board of Governors personnel. The Administration also welcomes the increased flexibility for the State Department to use registration fees collected under the Arms Export Control Act.

These many areas of agreement notwithstanding, the Administration has concerns about provisions in the bill that could constrain the ability of the President and the Secretary of State to conduct foreign affairs and manage the Department with the necessary degree of flexibility. The Administration looks forward to working with Congress to address these concerns.

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See the original statement here. I remain curious on what this bill would look like after the Senate gets its hands on this, and after the conference committee gets a stab at it, and after compromises are hashed in/out … and what final bill version would be sent, if any to the WH.

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