Foreign Policy for America Statement on House Passage of H.R. 8771

June 28, 2024

Foreign Policy for America Statement on House Passage of H.R. 8771

Washington, D.C. – Foreign Policy for America is deeply disappointed that the House of Representatives has advanced a State and Foreign Operations spending bill that slashes funding to vital diplomatic, development, and humanitarian programs. This bill undermines our national security and ability to protect our core interests. It reflects an unserious approach not just to governing, but to tackling the mounting, interconnected global challenges impacting American families here at home – from increasing conflict, instability, and competition to climate change, health threats, and food insecurity.

“For the second year in a row, the House has passed a State and Foreign Operations bill that actively rejects the serious and immediate ways in which climate bears on our national security and the health and safety of families across the country,” said Gina McCarthy, member of FP4A’s Advisory Board. “By cutting essential funding and including policy riders that call into question even the most basic aspects of work with allies and partners in this space, the bill undercuts the integrity of U.S. climate leadership and, at a more fundamental level, America’s role as a reliable and credible actor on the world stage.”

Last year, bipartisan leadership in both chambers of Congress, backed by an overwhelming majority in both the House and Senate came together with the Biden administration to agree on topline funding levels for the current and upcoming fiscal years. While the 1% increase called for under the terms of the Fiscal Responsibility Act (FRA) would itself leave major programs and priorities under-resourced, the House bill throws out that agreement and proposes a 12% cut to last year’s International Affairs budget. These cuts are largely concentrated in development and humanitarian assistance programs, which would see a 32% and 24% reduction respectively.

As if those cuts weren’t concerning enough on their own, the House bill is laden with partisan riders on everything from implementing an expanded Mexico City Policy, to prohibiting contributions to major international climate efforts, and blocking DEI initiatives and appointments. The bill would also prohibit funding for UNRWA, the ICC, the ICJ, and the Arms Trade Treaty – directly undermining U.S. strategic interests.

In short, a small, extreme, conservative minority has hijacked the House appropriations process to serve their own political interests. This legislation would advance a vision of isolationism at the expense of our shared security.

FP4A is grateful for the leadership and clarity of Representatives Barbara Lee and Rosa DeLauro, who sit on key positions on the appropriations committee. As Representative DeLauro stated, “our starting point for 2025 must provide, at minimum, a one percent increase in defense and nondefense funding, consistent with the framework set in the Fiscal Responsibility Act.” We look forward to working with responsible leaders in Congress to advance an international affairs spending bill that treats the FRA caps as a floor and prioritizes investments in diplomacy, development, and human security.