Funding

The Senate on Saturday night cleared the $1.1 trillion FY15 “cromnibus” spending bill that would keep the federal government funded through September 2015. According to CQ.com, the measure passed the Senate 56-40 and “President Obama has indicated he will sign the bill.”

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Hours before the expiration of the FY15 Continuing Resolution (CR), and with a narrow vote of 219 to 206, the House of Representatives last night passed the $1.1 trillion FY15 omnibus spending bill that would keep the federal government funded through September 2015.

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Educational and cultural exchange programs are funded at $589.9 million in the FY15 omnibus appropriations bill released last night and expected to be voted on by both Chambers of Congress this week. This funding amount is $12 million more than the President’s FY15 request of $577.9 million and $21.2 million more than the FY14 enacted level of $568.6 million. The FY15 omnibus also contains increases over the FY14 level for every specified program, including:

Congress returns to session today to conclude its lame duck session, and high on its priority list is finalizing FY15 appropriations before the current continuing resolution (CR) expires on December 11. Several scenarios exist for how FY15 appropriations might be handled before Congress adjourns, including:

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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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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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