Senate Approves Omnibus Bill, Includes Fiscal Year 2004 Funding for State Department Exchanges, Lincoln Study Abroad Fellowships Commission, Foreign Aid Programs

Following a long and contentious process, the Senate this afternoon passed the $820 billion fiscal year (FY) 2004 omnibus spending package which includes $320 million for educational and cultural exchange programs, $500,000 for the Lincoln Study Abroad Fellowships Commission, $1 billion for the Millennium Challenge Account (MCA) and $1.65 billion for HIV/AIDS, among other programs. The final agreement which funds seven of the 13 annual appropriations bills, was approved by the House in early December. The Senate held back its approval until today, almost four months into the fiscal year, because of several contentious issues unrelated to exchanges in the bill. The legislation is now cleared for President Bush's signature.

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