Chairwoman Kay Granger presented the following opening statement at the Subcommittee markup of the Fiscal Year 2017 State and Foreign Operations Appropriations Bill. The bill was reported without opposition to the full Appropriations Committee:
I would like to welcome everyone to today’s markup of the Fiscal Year 2017 Appropriations bill for the Department of State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs.
I want to begin by recognizing Chairman Rogers and his work to move bills quickly through the Committee. This is the 11th subcommittee markup, and our allocation of $52 billion has allowed us to produce a good bill that addresses many bipartisan priorities.
I also want to thank my friend, Mrs. Lowey, for her continued dedication to this Subcommittee.
We have a great group of members on both sides of the aisle who care deeply about the programs in the Subcommittee’s jurisdiction.
The Fiscal Year 2017 bill that we are marking up today supports U.S. national security priorities.
It fully funds the request for embassy security and maintains our commitment to the security of our allies and partners, such as Israel, Egypt, Jordan, and Ukraine.
The bill also provides strong support to Iraq with a particular focus on helping the Kurds, who are fully engaged in the fight against ISIS.
We also increase programs that stop terrorism around the world by improving border and aviation security and dismantling networks that finance terrorists.
During this time of unprecedented political change, the bill strongly supports democracy programs and international broadcasting.
The bill rejects deep cuts proposed by the President for life-saving humanitarian relief overseas, and it provides strong support for bipartisan health priorities.
As we saw with Ebola and now with the Zika virus, diseases that are spreading in other countries can quickly become concerns here at home. That is why we provide $200 million for global health security efforts and to address health threats as they emerge. This funding will help countries to be better prepared for the next crisis and funds will be on-hand to address the next health emergency.
In order to address all of these priorities within our allocation, the bill reduces funds for the United Nations, international organizations, and financial institutions.
The bill strengthens oversight, transparency, and accountability to ensure that taxpayer dollars are protected. We fully fund the agencies’ inspectors general, and we address deficiencies in agency processes and financial accounting systems.
One area of focus is improving foreign military financing and sales programs.
We cannot ask our partners to take on an increased role in the fight against ISIS and then sit on their requests for U.S. equipment. This does significant harm to our relationships around the world; drives our partners to purchase weapons from other countries; and risks U.S. jobs.
This bill takes the first step forward in changing the way we do business.
I hope that all members can support reporting the bill out of Subcommittee today, and we can continue to work together as the bill moves through the full committee.
Details of the Fiscal Year 2017 State and Foreign Operations Approriations bill as marked up by the Subcommittee are available here: