Washington, D.C. – U.S. Rep. Eliot L. Engel, the top Democrat on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, released the following statement regarding the State-Foreign Operations Appropriations bill that passed the House Appropriations Committee.
"The House funding bill for the State Department and foreign affairs agencies is simply not a realistic piece of legislation. It’s incredibly reckless to slash critical assistance programs by over half with Syria in crisis, instability rampant throughout much of the Middle East, and global food shortages driving up the number of hungry around the world. This bill will not solve our fiscal woes, but will weaken our standing as a global leader.”
The bill cuts International Disaster Assistance by 55 percent, Emergency Refugee and Migration Assistance by 90 percent, and overall bilateral assistance by a quarter below the level the President requested in his FY2014 budget. In addition, the bill reinstates the Global Gag Rule that places the lives of women and children around the world in greater danger by prohibiting family planning funding to health care organizations.