FY15 Appropriations: Final Recap


January 5, 2015
Allison Grossman, Senior Legislative Associate

While most of the country was getting ready for the holidays, Congress spent time in December finalizing the federal budget for fiscal year (FY) 2015. A stop-gap continuing resolution kept the government open through mid-December until Congress passed a large budget package to fund the government through September 30, 2015, the end of the fiscal year. The House passed the package on December 11, the Senate followed on December 13, and the President signed the measure into law on December 16 – narrowly avoiding a government shut down.

This larger omnibus bill included the International Affairs budget. Despite extensive negotiations between the House and the Senate, the overall account fared well, coming in with a topline International Affairs number of $50.9 billion, an increase of about $300 million over FY14 levels. The U.S. Global Leadership Coalition has an excellent wrap-up of the full bill on their website.

Most of the poverty-focused accounts for which RESULTS advocates also emerged with strong funding levels (see full chart below), and RESULTS volunteers were a critical force in that success. Back in February and March, we urged members of Congress to include support for these accounts in their requests to the Appropriations Committee, and achieved unprecedented levels of signers on appropriations letters. Twenty-three senators and 103 members of the House signed letters calling for strong Maternal and Child Health (MCH), Gavi, and Nutrition funding, and 12 senators and 43 House members signed a letter supporting TB funding. Later in the spring, 81 members of Congress called for a strong U.S. pledge to the Global Partnership for Education.

These shows of support were extremely important in securing these funding levels in this difficult economic environment. Here’s how it all ended up:

  • Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria: Congress included $1.35 billion for the Global Fund. While lower than RESULTS’ request, this amount matched the levels in the President’s request. Because of a legislated cap on the U.S. contribution not exceeding one-third of all donor funding for the Global Fund, until other countries step up and fund the Global Fund at higher levels, the U.S. faces limitations on how much it can contribute.
  • Bilateral TB: Despite a significant cut proposed by the Administration to bilateral tuberculosis programs, Congressional champions restored TB funding to the FY14 level of $236 million. This funding is especially critical with the rise of TB and drug-resistant TB around the world, as this recent New York Times op-ed illustrated. Advocacy for increased TB funding will be a priority for RESULTS as we look to the FY16 appropriations process.
  • Maternal and Child Health, Gavi, and Nutrition: Congress again restored a proposed cut by the Administration to the MCH account and increased funding over FY14 levels to a total of $715 million in FY15. RESULTS’ request for Gavi was fulfilled at $200 million, which is especially important as we head into the Gavi pledging conference at the end of this month. Congress also maintained nutrition funding at $115 million, falling short of RESULTS’ request but restoring another proposed Administration cut.
  • The Global Partnership for Education and Basic Education: Congress included $45 million for the Global Partnership for Education, a small increase over FY14 levels but less than the level the Administration announced at June’s pledging conference. RESULTS will continue to advocate for significant increases in the U.S. contribution to the Global Partnership. Despite a drastic cut for overall Basic Education in the President’s budget request, Congress maintained funding at $800 million for FY15.
  • Microfinance: Once again, Congress continued funding for microfinance programs at $265 million. RESULTS advocated for the inclusion of strong language directing microfinance funds to the very poor and directing USAID to use poverty measurement tools; while this specific language was not included, the final bill included general language around microfinance for the poor and women.

Overall, these levels provide a strong base for the the FY16 appropriations process, which is quickly approaching! Stay tuned for more information as we turn our attention there in the coming weeks…

 

 

FY14 Final

FY15 RESULTS Request

FY15 President’s Request

FY15 Final

Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria

$1.65 billion

$1.65 billion

$1.35 billion

$1.35 billion

Bilateral Tuberculosis

$236 million

$400 million

$191 million

$236 million

Maternal and Child Health

$705 million

$800 million

$695 million

$715 million

Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance

$175 million

$200 million

$200 million

$200 million

Nutrition

$115 million

$200 million

$101 million

$115 million

Global Partnership for Education

$40 million

$125 million

$50 million (announced at the June GPE pledging conference)

$45 million

Overall Basic Education

$800 million

$925 million

$534 million

$800 million

Microfinance

$265 million

language around microfinance for the very poor

$207 million

$265 million

 

 

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