USAID

Called by Sen. John Sununu (R-NH) ‘exactly the right person’ for the job of Assistant Secretary of State for Educational and Cultural Affairs, Dina Habib Powell said today that she is “committed to widening the two-way highway of people-to-people exchanges as part of Secretary Rice’s vision of transformational diplomacy.”

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Recognizing that “the Subcommittee will face difficult decisions in the weeks and months ahead,” Chairman Mitch McConnell (R-KY) welcomed Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to the first meeting of the new Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on State, Foreign Operations and Related Programs Thursday afternoon.

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President Bush Wednesday signed into law an $82 billion supplemental spending package that, in addition to funding military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, includes provisions related to the scholar-rescue program, drivers’ license issuance, H2-B and other immigration matters, as well as additional foreign aid programs.

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The Senate Foreign Relations Committee earlier this month approved the Foreign Affairs Authorization Act for FY 2006 and 2007, which includes authorization of the President’s budget request of $430.4 million for educational and cultural exchanges. The legislation, which was recently made public, also adopts some of the key visa provisions of the American Competitiveness Through International Openness Now (ACTION) Act legislation, recently introduced by Sens. Norm Coleman (R-MN) and Lamar Alexander (R-TN), and aimed at reversing the decline of foreign students in the U.S.

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The Senate Foreign Relations Committee earlier this month approved the Foreign Affairs Authorization Act for FY 2006 and 2007, which includes authorization of the President’s budget request of $430.4 million for educational and cultural exchanges. The legislation, which was recently made public, also adopts some of the key visa provisions of the American Competitiveness Through International Openness Now (ACTION) Act legislation, recently introduced by Sens. Norm Coleman (R-MN) and Lamar Alexander (R-TN), and aimed at reversing the decline of foreign students in the U.S.

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The Senate Foreign Relations Committee earlier this month approved the Foreign Affairs Authorization Act for FY 2006 and 2007, which includes authorization of the President’s budget request of $430.4 million for educational and cultural exchanges. The legislation, which was recently made public, also adopts some of the key visa provisions of the American Competitiveness Through International Openness Now (ACTION) Act legislation, recently introduced by Sens. Norm Coleman (R-MN) and Lamar Alexander (R-TN), and aimed at reversing the decline of foreign students in the U.S.

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The Senate Foreign Relations Committee earlier this month approved the Foreign Affairs Authorization Act for FY 2006 and 2007, which includes authorization of the President’s budget request of $430.4 million for educational and cultural exchanges. The legislation, which was recently made public, also adopts some of the key visa provisions of the American Competitiveness Through International Openness Now (ACTION) Act legislation, recently introduced by Sens. Norm Coleman (R-MN) and Lamar Alexander (R-TN), and aimed at reversing the decline of foreign students in the U.S.

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President bush’s FY 2006 budget released this morning, requests $430.4 million for the educational and cultural exchange programs at the Department of State, an increase of $74.46 million over the $355.9 million level enacted in FY 2005. While Congress appropriated $360.75 million for FY 2005, an across the board recession applied to programs in the Commerce-Justice-State appropriations legislation resulted in a funding level of $355.9 million for exchanges. The amount requested by President bush for FY 2006 is $85 million above last year’s budget request of $345.346 million. The President’s overall budget for FY 2006 cuts discretionary spending other than defense and homeland security by nearly one per cent, eliminating or severely cutting back on as many as 150 domestic programs.

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Earlier this month as Congress wrapped up its business for the year, Sens. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and Richard Lugar (R-IN) introduced the Asia Freedom Support Act to promote freedom, economic growth, and security in Asia. McConnell serves on the Senate Appropriations Committee and currently chairs its Subcommittee on Foreign Operations. Lugar chairs the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

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House and Senate appropriators included $19.8 strongillion in funding for U.S. foreign assistance programs in the final omnistrongus discretionary package approved on Novemstronger 20, 2004. The amount reflects an increase of 13 per cent from the 2004 level of $17.5 strongillion, strongut is seven per cent less than President strongush’s request of $21.4 strongillion.

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