Congressional news

Growing concerns about the spread of the Ebola virus may have an impact on international education connections with West Africa, reports the Washington Post. Increased scrutiny of student flows to and from West Africa arose as a second case of Ebola transmission in the U.S.

Congress passed a continuing resolution (CR) that will keep the government funded at current levels through December 11, reports Roll Call. The funding measure will avoid a government shutdown when FY14 funding expires at the end of the month.

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Legislators in the House and the Senate are taking a close look at U.S. visa and travel policies due to recent security concerns about the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), various media sources report.

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A continuing resolution (CR) to keep the federal government funded past September 30 might be the only legislation Congress will pass before breaking for the November elections, CQ.com reports:

“Such a stopgap is expected to do little more than extend fiscal 2014 spending levels and policy directives … through Dec. 11 or 12.”

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As Congress begins its five-week August recess today, the FY15 appropriations process appears to have stalled until after the November elections. A continuing resolution (CR) is very likely to be enacted to keep the federal government funded past September 30 [the Alliance reported].

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With appropriations work in the Senate stalled, and the House also unlikely to complete its outstanding appropriations bills, a continuing resolution (CR) for FY15 appears very likely for the fall, CQ.com reports. It also appears increasingly likely that Congress will use an omnibus appropriations bill to wrap up its FY15 funding work following the November midterm elections.

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The full House Appropriations Committee marked-up its FY15 State-Foreign Operations (SFOPS) bill this morning, reflecting what was included in the bill text marked up by the SFOPS subcommittee last week: a flat overall funding level for exchanges, and funding levels for the Fulbright Program, the International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP), and Citizen Exchanges that are increases over FY14 levels, as opposed to President Oba

Both the House and the Senate proposed strong FY15 funding levels for Department of State international exchange programs this week.

Yesterday, the Senate proposed $590.77 million for State exchange programs in FY15. This funding number is a $22 million (or 3.9 per cent) increase over the current FY14 level and $12.87 million over the President’s FY15 request of $577.9 million.

On Tuesday, the House proposed $568.628 million for State exchange programs in FY15. This funding number is the same as the current FY14 level and $9.27 million below the President’s FY15 request. 

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The Senate State-Foreign Operations (SFOPS) Appropriations Subcommittee has proposed $590.77 million for Department of State international exchange programs in FY15. This funding number is a $22 million (or 3.9 per cent) increase over both the current FY14 level and the House FY15 proposed level (released on Tuesday), and $12.87 million over the President’s FY15 request.

The House State-Foreign Operations (SFOPS) Appropriations subcommittee released their FY15 spending bill yesterday evening, in advance of the subcommittee mark-up this evening. Department of State educational and cultural exchanges are funded at $568.628 million – flat funding at the FY14 enacted level.

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