The House Foreign Affairs Committee under Chairwoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) on Wednesday discussed safety issues in the Peace Corps, hearing testimony from several former Peace Corps volunteers as well as Peace Corps Director Aarons S. Williams and Peace Corps Inspector General Kathy A. Buller.
Inside Higher Ed reports in detail on the cuts Department of Education foreign language and area studies programs may receive in the FY 2011 final appropriations bill, passed in Congress today: “Whether those cuts will actually occur is still unclear. Title VI programs, so called because of the provision of the Higher Education Act under which they fall, are not mentioned by name in the spending bill.
After six months of negotiations, Congress finally passed an appropriations bill for the remainder of FY 2011. Yesterday the House passed H.R. 1473, a continuing resolution (CR) to fund the federal government through September 30, with a vote of 260-167 (59 House Republicans voted against the bill, including 28 of the 87 freshmen, while 81 Democrats voted in favor). The Senate then passed the bill, with a bipartisan 81-19 vote. The legislation will go to the President today for his expected signature.
The continuing resolution to fund the remainder of FY 2011, expected to be approved by Congress this week, includes sharp cuts to foreign language and international academic programs in the Department of Education, the Chronicle for Higher Education reports.
Jim Doumas, Executive Vice President and Interim CEO of Sister Cities International, testified this morning in front of the House Appropriations State-Foreign Operations Subcommittee, speaking in support of Department of State international exchange programs. Specifically, Doumas called for the subcommittee to fully fund the President’s FY 2012 budget request of $637.1 million for State exchange programs. Doumas noted:
International exchange programs were discussed in a number of different contexts today during a House State-Foreign Operations Appropriations Subcommittee “Members’ Day.” This hearing provided opportunities for Congressional Members not on the subcommittee to testify in support of FY 2012 budget requests for SFOPS programs most important to them and their constituencies.
Rep. Gus Bilirakis (R-FL) recently introduced H.R. 1211, the Student Visa Security Improvement Act, which seeks to increase the tracking of foreign students in the United States.
The House and Senate Appropriations Committees released today details of the continuing resolution that will fund the remainder of FY 2011. In this bill, Department of State international exchange programs will receive a cut of $35 million, or 5.5 per cent, from the FY 2010 enacted level of $635 million, for an appropriations level of $600 million for the remainder of FY 2011.
According to the House Appropriations Committee, all non-defense accounts are slated to receive an additional 0.2 per cent across-the-board cut.
House and Senate negotiators and the White House agreed late Friday on a spending plan for the remainder of FY 2011, averting a government shutdown only hours before it would have begun. The deal reached by House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) would cut a total of $38.5 billion from current spending levels.
During a House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations hearing on U.S. international broadcasting yesterday, Ranking Member Russ Carnahan (D-MO) stressed the importance of international exchanges as programs of public diplomacy. Public diplomacy, Carnahan noted, is “a critical and indispensible component of U.S. foreign policy” and “can, and should, also be cost-effective.”