Funding

The House approved earlier this week its FY14 Department of State Operations and Embassy Security Authorization Act (H.R. 2848), which authorizes expenditures for a total of 15 accounts within the International Affairs Budget. If enacted, this authorization bill would be the first Department of State authorization passed by Congress in more than ten years.

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While the government shutdown that went into effect October 1 may not have widespread short-term impact on programs funded through the State Department’s International Affairs Account, “major disruption could occur if the closure continues for a prolonged period of time,” the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition (USGLC) reports.

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The Department of State made publically available an internal memo sent to Assistant Secretaries and Executive Directors last week that details State Department procedures during the government shutdown that went into effect at midnight.

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The U.S. government is on the verge of shutting down at midnight tonight, various news sources including CQ.com, the Washington Post and the New York Times report.

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The House Appropriations Committee on Wednesday released a continuing resolution (CR) that would fund the federal government at current levels through December 15. This CR (H.J. Res. 59) would set government spending at an annual rate of about $986, slightly below the current FY13 level of $988 billion. Opposition from conservative House Republicans, however, has forced the House leadership to pull the bill from floor consideration.

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The House of Representatives is likely to take up a short-term, stopgap funding measure (a continuing resolution, or CR) next week, CQ.com reports. Such a measure would avert a government shutdown at the end of this month and is not expected to last more than two to three months. CQ notes that the CR would likely continue discretionary spending into fiscal 2014, which begins on October 1, at current levels: 

House and Senate Appropriations committees this week approved their respective bills for FY14 State Department funding, including Department of State exchange programs.

The difference between the House and Senate allocation is stark: approximately $156 million.

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The Senate Appropriations Committee yesterday approved the 302(b) allocations for fiscal year 2014, providing $50.6 billion for FY14 State-Foreign Operations (SFOPS), and $52.2 billion for the overall International Affairs Budget (essentially level with current funding and similar to the President’s FY 14 request of $52.1), the U.S.

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According to a draft schedule currently being circulated by the Senate Appropriations Committee, the panel is planning to mark up eight out of its twelve appropriations bills by mid-July, CQ.com recently reported.

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More U.S. colleges and universities are helping finance study abroad experiences for low-income students, a trend that has increased the U.S. study abroad rate, the Chronicle of Higher Education reports.

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