Congressional news

A newly formed Congressional International Exchange and Study Caucus aims to “raise awareness of the importance of international exchange and study programs in the United States and around the world,” according to a press release from U.S. Representatives Steve Pearce (R-NM) and Jim Himes (D-CT).

A continuing resolution (CR) passed by Congress and signed by President Obama on Wednesday will keep the federal government funded at current levels through December 11, reports CQ.

The U.S. Advisory Commission on Public Diplomacy (ACPD) officially released yesterday its “2015 Comprehensive Annual Report on Public Diplomacy & International Broadcasting.” The report itemizes Department of State and Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG) public diplomacy and international broadcasting activities, including Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) exchange programs.

In response to a request by a bipartisan group of Members of Congress, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (AAAS) recently announced the formation of the Commission on Language Learning that will conduct the first national study on foreign language learning in more than 30 years, PR Newswire reports.

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During the three-day Presidential Summit of the Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders earlier this week, Representative Hank Johnson (D-GA) commended the Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI) and its potential to foster change and create long-term, positive effects.

After congratulating the Washington Mandela fellows on their participation in the very competitive program, Rep. Johnson noted:

Representative Glenn Thompson (R-PA) spoke in support of the Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange (CBYX) program yesterday on the House floor, noting that the program “has shown tremendous success in fostering a stronger relationship between the United States and Germany.”

In his remarks, Rep. Thompson outlined several of the long-term benefits of the program for both German and American CBYX participants:

The Senate Committee on Appropriations approved the FY16 State-Foreign Operations (SFOPS) spending bill yesterday, providing $49.0 billion in overall funding and allocating $590.9 million for Department of State educational and cultural exchange programs.

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An amendment adopted by the House of Representatives yesterday allows the Director of National Intelligence (DNI) to provide grants to Hispanic-serving higher education institutions to offer advanced foreign language programs that would be of “immediate” interest to the intelligence community, as well as for study abroad and cultural immersion programs.

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The House State-Foreign Operations (SFOPS) Appropriations subcommittee today released their FY16 spending bill along with the accompanying report, in advance of the full committee mark-up tomorrow.

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The House State-Foreign Operations (SFOPS) Appropriations Subcommittee today approved by voice vote its FY16 funding bill, including Department of State exchange programs.

Educational and cultural exchange programs are provided $582.531 million in FY16 – about $40.55 million less than the President’s request of $623.079 million, and $7.37 million less than the FY15 enacted level of $589.9 million. 

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