House FY24 appropriations numbers reveal the importance of our advocacy

July 14, 2023
by Katie Fleischer, Advocacy Associate

This week, the Congressional fight over funding took a major step forward. The House Appropriations committee approved their State and Foreign Operations (SFOPS) bill. The Appropriations committee Republicans passed the SFOPS bill, though no Democrats voted for it, and the bill’s next stop is the full House floor. The foreign aid spending bill contains Fiscal Year 2024 (“FY24”) funding numbers for RESULTS global health and education priorities. Once passed by the House, the Senate will still need to pass their own version, and negotiations will eventually begin. Congress will likely not finalize the budget until closer to the end of the fiscal year in September, or it could be as late as December.

As with the debt ceiling bill passed in June, the SFOPS bill has mixed news. The overall bill suffered damaging cuts that will affect marginalized communities around the world. But thanks to your incredible advocacy, Congressional allies protected many of RESULTS’s top priorities.

The House cut the FY24 SFOPS budget by $7.2 billion, a 12% reduction from FY23. And in reality, the cuts are even higher than they appear. The House took money from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to pay for foreign aid priorities among other budget manipulation tactics they used. Without taking those EPA recissions into account, the entire SFOPS bill would be cut by over 30%.

These severe cuts are devastating, especially with inflation already impacting foreign aid programs. And instead of making plans to help global partners, the SFOPS bill includes a wide range of hateful anti-LGBTQ and anti-abortion policies. Now is not the time for the U.S. to abandon critical global investments on health, education, diplomacy, climate change, and human rights. Instead, Congress should fight to protect and increase those crucial funding levels.

Despite our disappointment in the overall SFOPS budget, there are several wins that we’re celebrating, thanks to you, the amazing RESULTS network. You worked tirelessly to take action on Appropriations this spring, and your advocacy paid off in a major way. Throughout the bill, even when funding for other programs was cut, you convinced members of Congress to protect our priority programs. 

The House SFOPS budget maintains funding for USAID Tuberculosis and the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria at FY23 enacted levels–$394.5 million and $2 billion respectively. And they even made a small increase to Nutrition funding! Your incredible advocacy and persistence with your Representatives protected these funding levels.

In addition, the House included several of RESULTS language requests in their final bill! Along with our funding numbers, advocates submitted report language aimed at improving the equity and impact of the programs we fund. And our requests were well received, with your work directly leading to new sections that direct USAID to take specific steps to prevent childhood deaths and center disadvantaged geographies in their programs. This is just another example of how your advocacy can influence our government and our global health programs.

There’s still a while to go in the FY24 appropriations process, and we’ll watch closely as the Senate releases their SFOPS bill and negotiations begin. But for now, please take a moment to celebrate with your fellow advocates. This bill demonstrates how your outreach this year has already had a major impact on our global health policies, and will provide much-needed resources to people battling poverty and oppression around the world. 

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