Leadership Council for Human Rights

~ Feet in the mud, head in the sky ~

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Foreign ops appropriations bill OKd by Senate committee

The Senate Approprations Committee approved the fiscal year 2008 State Foreign Operations Appropriations bill after a relatively brief discussion today.

In his presentation, Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Chairman of the Subcommittee on State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs, praised the subcommittee for remaining under the proposed budget, but raised concerns about the number of international organizations earmarked in the bill; the only international organization mentioned is the United Nations, whereas the 2006 bill included 74 earmarks, he said. He also raised concerns about global AIDS funding, which exceeds funding proposals.

Senator Judd Gregg (R-NH), Ranking Member of the subcommittee, agreed that there was no contention on the amount of money being spent, since the bill is below budget, but suggested that there perhaps is some contention on how the money is being spent. He also mentioned some regrettable language, but opted not to reopen the issue.

Terminology included in the sections regarding Israel and Mexico was also addressed by senators on the subcommittee, though the Israel language dispute had already been settled and the section on Mexico City language was brought up as a precursor to a later discussion.


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