Washington, D.C.—Representative Joaquin Castro (TX-20), a member of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, and Representative Eliot L. Engel (NY-16), Ranking Member of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, sent a letter to House Appropriations Committee Chairman Rodney Frelinghuysen, Ranking Member Nita Lowey and House Appropriations Subcommittee on State, Foreign Operations and Related Programs (SFOPS) Chairman Hal Rogers urging them to maintain the Fiscal Year 2017 funding level of $57.4 billion for America’s development and diplomacy programs in the current fiscal year and fully support our diplomats who promote U.S. interests around the world.  

“With changes to the amount of Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO) funding potentially available for FY18, we urge you to find the resources needed to ensure that the SFOPS bill is funded at no less than the FY17 enacted level of $57.4 billion. We understand that while OCO funding has been reduced, it has not been eliminated and the international affairs budget may continue to draw certain funds through OCO depending on circumstances. Regardless of the mechanism through which funding occurs, we urge you ensure that the Function 150 account is funded at least at the FY17 enacted level,” Reps. Castro and Engel said.

The full text of the letter can be found here and is pasted below.

 

February 15, 2018

 

The Honorable Rodney Frelinghuysen                       The Honorable Nita Lowey
Chairman                                                                     Ranking Member
House Committee on Appropriations                         House Committee on Appropriations
H-305, The Capitol                                                     1016 Longworth HOB
Washington, DC 20515                                              Washington, DC 20515

 

The Honorable Hal Rogers
Chairman
Subcommittee on State,
Foreign Operations, and Related Programs
HT-2, The Capitol
Washington, DC 20515

 

Dear Chairman Frelinghuysen, Ranking Member Lowey, and Chairman Rogers:

 

As you finalize the Fiscal Year 2018 Department of State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs (SFOPS) appropriations bill, we write to urge you to allocate no less than the FY17 enacted level of $57.4 billion for America’s critically important development and diplomacy programs.

 

The challenges the United States faces around the world have intensified in recent years. Our diplomats deserve the full support of our Congress as they promote U.S. interests around the world.  As you know, a strong coalition of retired generals and diplomats, Fortune 500 CEOs and faith leaders have come together in support of a robust international affairs budget.  We join them in urging that diplomacy and development are amply funded in the FY18 budget.

 

With changes to the amount of Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO) funding potentially available for FY18, we urge you to find the resources needed to ensure that the SFOPS bill is funded at no less than the FY17 enacted level of $57.4 billion. We understand that while OCO funding has been reduced, it has not been eliminated and the international affairs budget may continue to draw certain funds through OCO depending on circumstances. Regardless of the mechanism through which funding occurs, we urge you ensure that the Function 150 account is funded at least at the FY17 enacted level.

 

Thank you for your attention to this urgent matter.

 

Sincerely,

 

Joaquin Castro                                                                  Eliot L. Engel

Member of Congress                                                         Ranking Member
Committee on Foreign Affairs                                          Committee on Foreign Affairs