You may need to start bringing your own pencil to work soon …

Josh Rogin of The Cable writes that the House panel just slashed $4 billion from the State and foreign aid budget. Gosh, I can’t count…. is that 4 plus nine zeros?  That’s like … a lot of zeros, dude! 

Congresswoman Nita Lowey cites the following highlights of the bill:

  • The bill provides $8.864 billion for Diplomatic and Consular Programs at the State Department, $678 million below the President’s request, but $637 above the FY 2010 enacted level.
  • $1.41 billion is included for USAID’s Operating and Expenses Account to add 100 positions to USAID’s capacity in the field and reduce its dependency on the U.S. military to implement assistance programs.
  • To preserve and protect our environment and fight global climate change, this bill includes over $1.34 billion in bilateral and multilateral funds for clean energy, biodiversity, and climate change initiatives, which is $258 below the request.
  • The committee is aware of the bipartisan interest in increasing the size and strength of the Peace Corps and, despite significant budget constraints, provides the President’s budget request, $446 million, for the Peace Corps.

You probably know what’s coming.  There’ll be cuts all around except for I’AfPak posts. Folks will be asked to slash another 10-15% off their mission budget from the previous year. Do more with less as a mantra will be back with a vengeance (although I was never convinced it ever did go away). The good news is before too long, you’ll be able to do everything with nothing. Imagine that — especially for 4th of July gigs next year.

H/T to Josh for the chart showing which accounts got whacked:

FY2011 State Summary Table