Final CR for FY 2011 has $8.4 Billion Cuts for State Dept Request, Tire Tracks Almost Everywhere Except DOD Gets $5 Billion More

Here’s the press statement from the House Appropriations chairman on April 12:

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The final Continuing Resolution (CR) legislation for fiscal year 2011 unveiled today by House Appropriations Chairman Hal Rogers contains historic spending cuts of nearly $40 billion, and will provide funding to keep the federal government operating for the remainder of the fiscal year. The passage of the bill in the House and Senate will mark the end of an arduous and long-overdue budget process initiated by the failure of the previous Democrat-controlled Congress to pass a budget or enact a single one of the 12 annual Appropriations bills last year.                   

“Never before has any Congress made dramatic cuts such as those that are in this final legislation. The near $40 billion reduction in non-defense spending is nearly five times larger than any other cut in history, and is the result of this new Republican majority’s commitment to bring about real change in the way Washington spends the people’s money,” Chairman Rogers said.

“My committee went line-by-line through agency budgets this weekend to negotiate and craft deep but responsible reductions in virtually all areas of government. Our bill targets wasteful and duplicative spending, makes strides to rein in out-of-control federal bureaucracies, and will help bring our nation one step closer to eliminating our job-crushing level of debt.” Chairman Rogers continued.

The House has put out a summary of the final cuts. And this is just the start.

Overall Spending Limit: The final CR will include a total of $1.049 trillion in funding, a nearly $40 billion reduction from last year’s (fiscal year 2010) levels. This includes the $12 billion in reductions previously approved by Congress and signed into law under the previous three continuing resolutions, as well as nearly $28 billion in additional new spending cuts.

Apparently, the White House has agreed to reduce the State Department and foreign operations budgets for the rest of fiscal year 2011 by $8.4 billion as part of the deal that avoided the government shutdown last week.

State and Foreign Operations: The funding level for the State Department and Foreign Operations in the CR is a total of $48.3 billion – a $504 million reduction from last year’s level and an $8.4 billion reduction from the President’s fiscal year 2011 request.

This section of the legislation includes a prohibition on pay raises for foreign services officers, a $377 million cut to U.S. contributions to the United Nations and international organizations, and a $130 million cut to international banks and financial institutions. In addition, the bill reduces family planning activities by $73 million – and includes a reduction in the UN Population Fund to fiscal year 2008 levels. The bill also maintains pro-life policy provisions carried in fiscal year 2010.

Family planning! Oh, why am I not surprised by that?

Look at the DOD, DOS and USAID funding and tell me this is not going to bust the myth of that three-legged stool of American foreign policy.  Perhaps now we can stop talking about the 3Ds as if it means anything? Defense matter. Diplomacy and Development, sometimes also matter, but not so much during wartime, and not so much when there’s a peace dividend.  But like I said, this is not even the main event, yet.

The Cable’s Josh Rogin
notes today that House Foreign Affairs Chairwoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), called for the elimination of over a dozen State Department and foreign aid programs. She also pledged to “fight “locality pay” increases for Foreign Service officers and recommended cutting off assistance to the Lebanese Armed Forces, the West Bank and Gaza, the Asia Foundation, the U.S. Institute of Peace, and the East-West Center.” 

It looks like she may get her wishes and some this week …

If you read through the program list here, you will see the cuts compared to the enacted amounts in FY2010 and cuts compared to the FY2011 requests.  Minuses run wild, and this was the small fight. I’ve also read through the text of the final CR but have not been able to find the exact language of the “prohibition on pay raises” included in that summary.  Since the HFAC chairwoman consider the OCP a pay increase, that may well be what is referred to here. Or it could refer to step increases or something altogether different, I can’t say. You’ll have to wait for AFSA’s folks to interpret this.    

To view the text of the Final Continuing Resolution, read here.

Below is a summary on DOD and DHS funding:

Defense Funding: The Department of Defense is funded at $513 billion in the CR – approximately $5 billion above last year – providing the necessary resources for the safety of our troops and the success of our nation’s military actions. The bill also includes an additional $157.8 billion for overseas contingency operations (emergency funding) to advance our missions abroad.

The Defense section of this legislation includes $126.7 billion for military personnel, providing for 1,432,400 active duty and 846,200 reserve troops. In addition, the bill contains a total of $165.6 billion for operations and maintenance, $102.1 billion for procurement, $75 billion for research and development, and $31.4 billion for Defense health programs. This legislation eliminates all Defense earmark account funding, a cut of $4.2 billion from last year’s level.

Homeland Security: A total of $41.8 billion in discretionary funding is provided for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) for fiscal year 2011. This is $784 million, or 2%, below FY 2010, and $1.9 billion, or 4%, below the President’s fiscal year 2011 request. All critical frontline operations for DHS – including Customs and Border Protection, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the Transportation Security Agency, the Coast Guard, and the Secret Service are sufficiently funded to meet mission requirements and sustain staffing levels.

This includes funding for 21,370 Border Patrol agents, 33,400 ICE detention beds, and military pay and allowances for the U.S. Coast Guard. The bill reduces CBP’s Border Security Fencing, Infrastructure, and Technology (BSFIT) account to the President’s request, reduces FEMA first responder grants by $786 million, eliminates $264 million in funding that was previously targeted to earmarks, and rescinds $557 million in unobligated and lapsed balances from prior year funds. The bill also caps the amount of TSA screener personnel at 46,000. The bill also includes $1.05 billion in additional discretionary funding (for a total of $2.65 billion, including current funds) for the costs of existing and expected disasters for fiscal year 2011.

Congress still has to pass this bill, but it is almost certain to pass given that they have shook hands on this.

Say, just curious — how much are we going to save if we bring home the troops from Germany? The Cold War is done, what exactly are we still doing in Europe? Japan? I sometimes wonder if we have anyone left in Congress with carbon steel balls to actually trim the runaway military budget?  Oh, but we’re in the middle of three wars, and two unnamed ones. It would have been political hara kiri to say out loud any significant DOD cuts in the past ten years.

Betcha in 2025, it would still be like jumping off the political high bridge to talk of cuts from any defense spending. The more things change, the more things stay the same …. now I understand why Charlie is popular.


Related items:

4.12.11 Summary – Final FY 2011 CR  Document

4.12.11 Program Cuts List – Final FY 2011… Document