Congressional news

Representative Zoe Lofgren (D-CA) yesterday introduced H.R. 2161, the Immigration Driving Entrepreneurship in America (IDEA) Act of 2011, which, as its title explains, aims at amending "the Immigration and Nationality Act to promote innovation, investment, and research in the United States."

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In an interview with Foreign Policy, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) ‘blasted’ cuts to Title VI, Fulbright-Hays, and other international education programs as a “short-sighted” move that could ‘weaken American diplomatic capabilities and, over time, create a “hollow diplomatic corps”’:

The Fulbright Association (FA) recently convened a mid-Florida meeting with the staff of ten members of Congress, including:

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As the Alliance reported last Friday, House Appropriations Chairman Hal Rogers (R-KY) announced funding limits for all 12 Appropriations subcommittees, including a draft allocation for the State, Foreign Operations Appropriations Subcommittee at $39.569 billion.

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On Wednesday, House Appropriations Chairman Hal Rogers (R-KY) announced the schedule for the completion of the FY12 Appropriations bills by the end of FY11 on September 30th, according to the House Appropriations Committee’s website. The plan includes a mark-up and approval of each bill by both the Subcommittee and the Full Committee and at least nine of the 12 bills could be considered on the House floor before the August recess.

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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.

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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.

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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:

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