House spending bill signals strong support for Global Fund


May 21st, 2019
Crickett Nicovich, Senior Advisor, Global Policy & Government Affairs

Every year, Congress decides how to spend the money in the U.S. federal budget in a process called “appropriations.” They “appropriate” money line-by-line to different programs. RESULTS urges lawmakers to support issues that build the foundation to end poverty – health, education, and economic opportunity.

This year, RESULTS advocates have asked U.S. policymakers to support funding for The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. The Global Fund is an innovative partnership that has saved 27 million lives since it was founded in 2002. RESULTS has worked to make sure the Global Fund has the resources it needs to fight these epidemics.

Last week, the House Appropriations Committee reaffirmed the U.S. commitment to the Global Fund. Their State and Foreign Operations (SFOPS) spending bill for fiscal year 2020 (FY20) passed out of the full committee. Most of the global health accounts and the education accounts that RESULTS volunteers focused on during our appropriations push (advocacy started back in January and continued with our March “Dear Colleague” work) received an increase from the House marks. See the chart below.

Overall, the bill provides $56.4 billion for SFOPS, split between $48.4 billion in base funding and $8 billion in Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO) funding. This is a 4% ($2.2 billion) increase compared to the FY19 enacted level. This increase is a positive sign that does allow funding boosts for many of our priorities, but to note, it does not take into account the need for a budget caps deal, which will still be necessary to avoid any major across the board cuts if sequestration were to go into effect.

Some highlights:

  • The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB, and Malaria received a $210 million increase over FY19 enacted and puts us on the right path for the U.S. maintaining our 1/3 commitment to the Global Fund’s need. During the full committee mark up, both Chairwoman Nita Lowey and Congresswoman Barbara Lee spoke about how critical U.S. leadership on the Global Fund is to saving lives and getting ahead of these epidemics. The report language in the bill (The Committee recommendation includes $1,560,000,000 for the first installment of the sixth replenishment of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria) along with their remarks during the mark-up send a strong signal to other countries that the U.S. is willing to step up the fight against these diseases of poverty.
  • The bilateral Tuberculosis program got a small boost of $8 million more for FY20. If the Senate marks come in higher as well, this could be the fourth year in a row we’ve seen increases for global TB control at USAID.
  • The Maternal and Child Health account was also increased by $15 million for FY20.
  • After 8 years of flat-funding, the Basic Education account got a significant increase of $125 million, which puts basic education funding back at its FY2011 levels and allows for another increase to the multilateral programs. The report language indicates that no less than $100 million be allocated to the Global Partnership for Education. That would provide GPE at least a $10 million increase in FY20.

 

Account

FY18 Enacted

FY19 Enacted

FY20 Budget Request

FY20 RESULTS Request

FY20 House

Global Fund

$1.35 billion $1.35 billion $958 million $1.56 billion $1.56 billion

Tuberculosis

$261 million $302 million $261 million $310 million $310 million

Maternal/Child Health

$814.5 million $835 million $620 million $900 million $850 million

    of which Gavi

$290 million $290 million $290 million $290 million $290 million

Nutrition

$125 million $145 million $79 million $250 million $145 million

Basic Education

$800 million $800 million unknown $925 million $925 million
     of which GPE $87.5 million $90 million unknown $125 million $100 million

 

The signals from the House are strong on both Global Fund and global education. Advocates should continue to urge Senate offices to match or exceed these funding levels as they work to write their own spending bill for next year (FY20).

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