Department of State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs: FY2021 Budget and Appropriations

Each year, Congress considers 12 distinct appropriations measures to fund federal programs and activities. One of these is the Department of State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs (SFOPS) bill, which includes funding for U.S. diplomatic activities, cultural exchanges, development and security assistance, and participation in multilateral organizations, among other international activities. On February 10, 2020, the Trump Administration submitted to Congress its SFOPS budget proposal for FY2021, totaling $44.12 billion (including $158.90 million in mandatory State Department retirement funds). Consistent with Administration requests since FY2018, none of the requested SFOPS funds were designated as Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO) funds; nevertheless, Congress has enacted OCO funds for SFOPS each year during this period.

The Administration’s FY2021 request is about 3% higher than its FY2020 request for SFOPS accounts but nearly 24% below the FY2020 SFOPS funding level enacted by Congress (including COVID-19 supplemental funds). Within these totals, funding is divided among two main components:

Department of State and Related Agency accounts. These funds, provided in Title I of the SFOPS appropriation, primarily support Department of State diplomatic and security activities and would be reduced by 18.9% from FY2020-enacted levels. Noteworthy cuts are proposed for the Educational and Cultural Exchange Programs (-57.6%), International Organizations (-31.8%) accounts, and the Diplomatic Programs account (-12.6%), which funds many of the State Department’s day-to-day operations.

The Foreign Operations accounts, funded in Title II-VI of the SFOPS bill, fund most foreign assistance activities. These accounts would see a total reduction of 25.7%, with particularly steep cuts proposed for global health programs (-37.5%), peacekeeping operations (PKO, -36.6%), multilateral aid (-28.9%), and humanitarian assistance (-28.3%, not including food aid programs funded through the agriculture appropriation).

This report provides an overview of the FY2021 SFOPS budget request, discusses trends in SFOPS funding, and highlights key policy issues. An account-by-account comparison of the FY2021 SFOPS request and enacted FY2020 SFOPS appropriations is presented in Appendix A. Appendix B provides a similar comparison, focused specifically on the International Affairs budget. Appendix C depicts the organization of the SFOPS appropriation. The report will be updated to reflect congressional action.

This report is designed to track SFOPS appropriations, with a focus on comparing funding levels for accounts and purposes across enacted FY2020 SFOPS appropriations, FY2021 Administration requests, and FY2021 SFOPS legislation as it moves through the legislative process. It does not provide significant analysis of international affairs policy issues. For in-depth analysis and contextual information on international affairs issues, please consult the wide range of CRS reports on specific subjects, such as global health, diplomatic security, and U.S. participation in the United Nations.

Department of State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs: FY2021 Budget and Appropriations

May 19, 2020 (R46367)
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Contents

Tables

Summary

Each year, Congress considers 12 distinct appropriations measures to fund federal programs and activities. One of these is the Department of State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs (SFOPS) bill, which includes funding for U.S. diplomatic activities, cultural exchanges, development and security assistance, and participation in multilateral organizations, among other international activities. On February 10, 2020, the Trump Administration submitted to Congress its SFOPS budget proposal for FY2021, totaling $44.12 billion (including $158.90 million in mandatory State Department retirement funds). Consistent with Administration requests since FY2018, none of the requested SFOPS funds were designated as Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO) funds; nevertheless, Congress has enacted OCO funds for SFOPS each year during this period.

The Administration's FY2021 request is about 3% higher than its FY2020 request for SFOPS accounts but nearly 24% below the FY2020 SFOPS funding level enacted by Congress (including COVID-19 supplemental funds). Within these totals, funding is divided among two main components:

  • Department of State and Related Agency accounts. These funds, provided in Title I of the SFOPS appropriation, primarily support Department of State diplomatic and security activities and would be reduced by 18.9% from FY2020-enacted levels. Noteworthy cuts are proposed for the Educational and Cultural Exchange Programs (-57.6%), International Organizations (-31.8%) accounts, and the Diplomatic Programs account (-12.6%), which funds many of the State Department's day-to-day operations.
  • The Foreign Operations accounts, funded in Title II-VI of the SFOPS bill, fund most foreign assistance activities. These accounts would see a total reduction of 25.7%, with particularly steep cuts proposed for global health programs (-37.5%), peacekeeping operations (PKO, -36.6%), multilateral aid (-28.9%), and humanitarian assistance (-28.3%, not including food aid programs funded through the agriculture appropriation).

This report provides an overview of the FY2021 SFOPS budget request, discusses trends in SFOPS funding, and highlights key policy issues. An account-by-account comparison of the FY2021 SFOPS request and enacted FY2020 SFOPS appropriations is presented in Appendix A. Appendix B provides a similar comparison, focused specifically on the International Affairs budget. Appendix C depicts the organization of the SFOPS appropriation. The report will be updated to reflect congressional action.

This report is designed to track SFOPS appropriations, with a focus on comparing funding levels for accounts and purposes across enacted FY2020 SFOPS appropriations, FY2021 Administration requests, and FY2021 SFOPS legislation as it moves through the legislative process. It does not provide significant analysis of international affairs policy issues. For in-depth analysis and contextual information on international affairs issues, please consult the wide range of CRS reports on specific subjects, such as global health, diplomatic security, and U.S. participation in the United Nations.


Overview

On February 10, 2020, the Trump Administration proposed its FY2021 budget for the Department of State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs (SFOPS) accounts, totaling $44.12 billion (including $158.90 million in mandatory retirement funds).1 SFOPS funding typically represents about 1% of the annual federal budget and supports a wide range of U.S. activities around the world, including the operations of U.S. embassies, diplomatic activities, educational and cultural exchanges, development, security, and humanitarian assistance, and U.S. participation in multilateral organizations. Figure 1 shows funding for different SFOPS components based on FY2020 budget authority estimates, relative to each other and to the broader federal budget.

Figure 1. SFOPS as a Portion of the Federal Budget, FY2020 Est.

Sources: FY2021 Budget; Historic Table 5.1; FY2020 SFOPS appropriations legislation; CRS calculations.

Notes: Reflects estimated budget authority, FY2020, except for International Affairs detail figures, which reflect enacted appropriations for FY2020.

The Administration's request is about 3% higher than the FY2020 request for SFOPS accounts but nearly 23% below the FY2020 SFOPS funding level enacted by Congress, including supplemental funds to help combat the COVID-19 epidemic globally.2 The Trump Administration has consistently requested far less SFOPS funding than Congress has appropriated. This is a reversal from the Obama Administration, when Congress typically provided less total SFOPS funding than was requested, though the gap narrowed over time during Obama's terms (Table 1).

Table 1. SFOPS Requests and Actual Funding, FY2013-FY2021

(In billions of current U.S. dollars)

 

FY2013

FY2014

FY2015

FY2016

FY2017

FY2018

FY2019

FY2020

FY2021

Request

56.41

51.96

55.01

54.83

60.21

40.21

41.66

43.10

44.12

Actual

51.91

50.89

54.39

54.52

59.78

54.18

54.38

57.21

n/a

Difference

-8.0%

-2.1%

-1.1%

-0.6%

-0.7%

+34.7%

+30.5%

+32.7%

n/a

Sources: Annual SFOPS Congressional Budget Justifications (CBJs) prepared by the Department of State and U.S. Agency of International Development; P.L. 116-6; P.L. 116-94; P.L. 116-123; P.L. 116-136.

Note: FY2020 actuals represent the enacted appropriation, including the coronavirus supplemental.

If enacted, the requested SFOPS funding level would be the lowest in over a decade (Figure 2).

Figure 2. SFOPS Funding, FY2010-FY2021 Request

(In billions of U.S. dollars)

Sources: Annual SFOPS CBJs; P.L. 116-94; P.L. 116-123; P.L. 116-136; CRS calculations.

The Budget Control Act and Overseas Contingency Operations

Since FY2012, the appropriations process has been shaped by the discretionary spending caps put in place by the Budget Control Act of 2011 (BCA; P.L. 112-25). Congress has since sought ways to manage the constraints imposed by the BCA and has repeatedly amended the BCA to raise the caps, most recently by the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2019 (BBA 2019; P.L. 116-37). The BBA 2019 raised discretionary spending limits set by the BCA for FY2020 and FY2021, the final two years the BCA caps are in effect.3

In addition to raising the caps, Congress has worked around the BCA limits by using Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO) funding, which is excluded from BCA discretionary budget limits. Congress began appropriating OCO in the SFOPS budget in FY2012, having previously provided OCO funds for the Department of Defense (DOD). Originally used to support shorter-term, contingency-related programming in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Pakistan that was not considered part of the "base" or "core" budget, OCO's use expanded considerably in level and scope between FY2012 and FY2017. Global SFOPS OCO funding peaked at $20.80 billion in FY2017 (nearly 35% of SFOPS funds that year), at which point it was used to support 18 different SFOPS accounts, ranging from USAID operating expenses and the Office of Inspector General to International Disaster Assistance and Foreign Military Financing. This broad use has led many observers to question whether the OCO designation makes a meaningful distinction between core and contingency activities, with some describing OCO (in both SFOPS and Defense appropriations) as a slush fund.4

The Administration has not requested OCO funds for SFOPS since FY2018, though it has continued to request OCO funds in the DOD budget. Nevertheless, Congress designated $8.00 billion of enacted SFOPS funding in both FY2019 and FY2020 as OCO, continuing a downward trend in the use of OCO since the FY2017 peak.

FY2020 SFOPS funding also included $2.37 billion in supplemental emergency funding to help combat the COVID-19 pandemic abroad. Like OCO-designated funding, emergency-designated funding does not count toward the BCA discretionary spending caps and may therefore be used as an alternative to the OCO designation. Before the use of OCO in SFOPS, funding for contingency activities was often provided through supplemental emergency appropriations.

Congressional Action on FY2021 SFOPS Legislation

Congressional action on SFOPS and other FY2021 appropriations has been delayed to an uncertain degree by disruption of congressional activity related to the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. Congress held some hearings on the FY2021 budget request before all hearings were postponed in March 2020. Subcommittee allocations have not been formally established, nor has SFOPS legislation been introduced for FY2021.

State Department Operations and Related Agency Highlights

The FY2021 request would cut funding for the Department of State and Related Agency appropriations accounts to $14.03 billion, down 18.9% from an enacted FY2020 level of $17.31 billion (including $588 million in COVID-19 supplemental funds).5 The Administration's request does not include funds to support the State Department's response to the COVID-19 pandemic. To date, Congress has provided all State Department operations funding for COVID-19-related matters through two FY2020 supplemental appropriations acts (P.L. 116-123 and P.L. 116-136).

The Administration's stated priorities for funding provided via Department of State and Related Agency accounts in FY2021 include

  • supporting the Indo-Pacific Strategy;
  • countering Chinese, Russian, and Iranian malign influence;
  • protecting U.S. government personnel, facilities, and data assets; and
  • maintaining American leadership in international organizations while asking other nations to increase their support.6

Table 2 provides a comparative breakout of the Administration's State Department and Related Agency request, by account.

Table 2. State Department and Related Agency: Selected Accounts

(In billions of current U.S. dollars; includes OCO funds)

Account

FY2019 Actual

FY2020 Enacted

FY2021 Request

% change, FY20 enacted to FY21 request

Diplomatic Programs

9.25

9.71

8.49

-12.6%

Worldwide Security Protection

4.10

4.10

3.70

-9.8%

Embassy Security, Construction & Maintenance

1.98

1.98

1.68

-14.8%

Educational and Cultural Exchange Programs

0.70

0.73

0.31

-57.6%

International Organizationsa

2.91

3.00

2.05

-31.8%

U.S. Agency for Global Media

0.81

0.81

0.64

-21.4%

State and Related Agency Total

(includes Function 300 funding and other commissions)

16.54

17.31

14.03

-18.9%

Sources: FY2020 and FY2021 SFOPS CBJs P.L. 116-6; P.L. 116-94; P.L. 116-123; P.L. 116-136; CRS calculations.

Notes: Percentage changes may not reflect numbers included in this table due to rounding. State and Related Agency totals include additional funding for accounts not listed above.

FY2020 enacted includes funds from the first and third supplemental appropriations for the novel coronavirus (P.L. 116-123 and P.L. 116-136, respectively).

a. Includes Contributions to International Organizations and Contributions for International Peacekeeping Activities accounts, the main funding vehicles for assessed obligations (dues) to the many international organizations and peacekeeping efforts that the United States supports. Excludes voluntary contributions to multilateral organizations, which are usually provided through the title of annual SFOPS appropriations laws pertaining to multilateral assistance (in P.L. 116-6, Title V).

Selected Programs and Priorities

Consistent with its previous requests, the majority (87.1%) of the funding the Administration is requesting for the Department of State and Related Agency appropriations accounts is for diplomatic programs, diplomatic security and embassy construction, and contributions to international organizations and international peacekeeping activities. For FY2020, such programs composed approximately 88.1% of the Administration's request and 84.8% of the enacted appropriations Congress provided for these accounts. Some of the Administration's priorities within these areas, as identified by the Department of State in its Congressional Budget Justification, are detailed below.

COVID-19 and State Department Operations

Since the outbreak of COVID-19, the Department of State has coordinated the evacuations of thousands of U.S. personnel and private citizens abroad and taken measures intended to protect its personnel both in the United States and those remaining deployed at overseas posts. In the past, Congress has provided budget authority for such activities primarily through the Diplomatic Programs and Emergencies in the Diplomatic and Consular Service (EDCS) accounts.

The Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2020 (P.L. 116-123) appropriated an additional $264 million to the Diplomatic Programs account, to remain available through FY2022, for purposes that include maintaining consular operations, reimbursing evacuation expenses, and emergency preparedness. This law also amended P.L. 116-94 to increase the amount of FY2020 Diplomatic Programs funding the State Department is authorized to transfer to the EDCS account for emergency evacuations from $10 million to $100 million. The CARES Act (P.L. 116-136) appropriated an additional $324 million to the Diplomatic Programs account for these purposes. This law also amended P.L. 116-94 to increase the amount of funds the State Department is authorized to transfer from the EDCS account to the Repatriations Loans Program Account (which pays for costs associated with loans provided to destitute U.S. citizens abroad who have no other source of funds to return to the United States); the increase was from $1 million to $5 million. Among other provisions, this law also authorizes the State Department to grant additional paid leave to address employee hardships resulting from COVID-19 and to provide, on a reimbursable basis to the extent feasible, medical services for private U.S. citizens, nationals, and permanent resident aliens abroad who are otherwise unable to obtain such services.

Diplomatic Programs

The Diplomatic Programs account is the State Department's principal operating appropriation and serves as the source of funding for several key functions. These include

  • most domestic and overseas State Department personnel salaries;
  • foreign policy programs administered by State Department regional bureaus, the Bureau of Conflict and Stabilization Operations, and others;
  • public diplomacy programs; and
  • the operations of the department's strategic and managerial units, including the Bureaus of Administration, Budget and Planning, and Legislative Affairs as well as the Office of the Chief of Protocol.7

The Administration's FY2021 request for Diplomatic Programs totals $8.49 billion, around 12.6% less than the $9.71 billion Congress provided for this account in FY2020 (this amount includes $588 million Congress provided for Diplomatic Programs in FY2020 supplemental COVID-19 funds; see text box for more detail). The Administration's request seeks $138 million for the Global Engagement Center (GEC), which is responsible for leading interagency efforts to recognize, understand, expose, and counter foreign state and non-state propaganda and disinformation efforts aimed at undermining U.S. interests, including those carried out from Russia, China, and Iran.8 The Administration maintains that this request, which would constitute a $76 million increase in annual funding for the GEC provided through SFOPS, would alleviate the need for DOD to transfer funds for GEC operations. Some Members of Congress and other observers have expressed concern regarding past DOD transfers, arguing that DOD has not transferred funding to the State Department in an expeditious manner or at funding levels that reflect congressional intent.9

The Administration's request also includes a realignment of personnel and funding from the Bureau of Global Talent Management (formerly the Bureau of Human Resources); the Bureau of Arms Control, Verification, and Compliance; and the Office of the Coordinator for Cyber Issues to establish a new Bureau for Cyber Security and Emerging Technologies (CSET). The State Department first notified Congress of its intent to create this new bureau in June 2019. It will be responsible for supporting "foreign policies and initiatives to promote U.S. cyber and emerging technology policies and deter adversaries from malicious and destabilizing behavior in their use and application of such technologies."10 Some observers have expressed criticism over elements of the State Department's plan for CSET, arguing that additional cyber-related matters such as global internet governance should be included in the bureau's remit. However, it appears that this issue and related matters will instead remain under the purview of the Bureau of Economic and Business Affairs.11

Diplomatic Security

For FY2021, the Administration requests around $5.38 billion for the State Department's key diplomatic security accounts: $3.70 billion for the Worldwide Security Protection (WSP) allocation within the Diplomatic Programs account and $1.68 billion for the Embassy Security, Construction, and Maintenance (ESCM) account. The Administration's request represents a decrease of 11.4% from the FY2020 enacted funding level (see Table 3).

Table 3. Diplomatic Security Annual Appropriations, FY2019-FY2021 Request

(In millions of current U.S. dollars, includes OCO funds)

Account

FY2019 Actual

FY2020 Enacted

FY2021 Request

% change, FY20 enacted to FY21 request

Worldwide Security Protection

4.10

4.10

3.70

-9.8%

Embassy Security, Construction, and Maintenance

1.98

1.98

1.68

-14.8%

Diplomatic Security (total)

6.08

6.08

5.38

-11.4%

Sources: FY2021 SFOPS CBJ; P.L. 116-94; CRS calculations.

Notes: Percentage changes may not reflect numbers included in this table due to rounding. Annual appropriations data do not reflect available carryover funds.12

The Administration is proposing that Congress decouple WSP from Diplomatic Programs and establish a standalone WSP account (see text box). WSP funds the Bureau of Diplomatic Security (DS), which is responsible for implementing the department's security programs to protect U.S. embassies and other overseas posts, diplomatic residences, and domestic State Department offices. In addition, WSP supports many of the State Department's security and emergency response programs, including those pertaining to operational medicine and security and crisis management training.13 The ESCM account funds the Bureau of Overseas Building Operations (OBO), which is responsible for providing U.S. diplomatic and consular missions overseas with secure, functional, and resilient facilities and managing nonmilitary U.S. government property abroad.14

Proposed Standalone WSP Account

The Worldwide Security Protection (WSP) subaccount within the Diplomatic Programs account has been used to fund programs that the State Department's Bureau of Diplomatic Security (DS) and other bureaus implement to protect the department's staff, property, and information. Similar to the FY2020 request, the FY2021 proposal requests that Congress create a new WSP standalone account and authorize the transfer of all unobligated WSP funds into this account by no later than the onset of FY2022 (October 1, 2021). The Administration maintains that creating this account will increase the transparency of WSP expenditures by more clearly disaggregating funding for diplomatic programs from that for security-related activities.

The Administration's WSP-funded priorities for FY2021 include the hiring of an additional 110 special agents at DS, which the Administration maintains is necessary to address critical overseas vacancies. In addition, the Administration intends to deploy High Definition Secure Video Systems (HDSVS) at overseas posts worldwide. The Administration has stated these systems will provide enhanced monitoring capabilities at overseas posts, including greater video resolution and enhanced nighttime visibility.15 At the same time, the Administration has proposed a cut of $109 million for DS operations in Afghanistan, which it says is consistent with the consolidation of DS-managed locations in the country and a corresponding reduction in costs for guard services and logistical support.16

The Administration's ESCM request includes $866.67 million for the State Department's share of the Capital Security Cost Sharing and Maintenance Cost Sharing Programs, which are the sources of funding for the planning, design, construction, and maintenance of the United States' overseas diplomatic posts. The Administration maintains that this request, when combined with funds contributed by other agencies with personnel at overseas posts and visa fee revenues, will fund these programs at the $2.20 billion level recommended by the Benghazi Accountability Review Board.17 Construction projects the Administration is seeking to fund through this request include a new embassy compound in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, and new consulate compounds in Adana, Turkey, and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.18

Assessed Contributions to International Organizations and Peacekeeping Missions

The Contributions to International Organizations (CIO) account is the funding vehicle for the United States' payments of its assessed contributions (membership dues) to over 40 organizations. These include the United Nations (U.N.) and its specialized agencies (among them, the World Health Organization, or WHO), inter-American organizations such as the Organization of American States, and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), among others.19 U.S. funding to international organizations is also provided through the various SFOPS multilateral assistance accounts, as described in the "Foreign Operations Highlights" section of this report. Separately, the United States pays its assessed contributions to most U.N. peacekeeping missions through the Contributions for International Peacekeeping Operations (CIPA) account.20

For FY2021, the Administration is requesting a combined $2.05 billion for these accounts. If enacted, this funding level would mark a 31.8% cut from that provided by Congress for FY2020. Table 4 shows recent funding levels for each account.

Table 4. U.S. Payments of Assessments to International Organizations and Peacekeeping Missions, FY2019-FY2021 Request

(In millions of current U.S. dollars, includes OCO funds)

Account

FY2019 Actual

FY2020 Enacted

FY2021 Request

% change, FY20 enacted to FY21 request

Contributions to International Organizations

1.36

1.47

0.97

-34.4%

Contributions for International Peacekeeping Activities

1.55

1.53

1.08

-29.3%

Total

2.91

3.00

2.05

-31.8%

Sources: FY2021 SFOPS CBJ; P.L. 116-94; CRS calculations

Notes: Percentage changes may not reflect numbers included in this table due to rounding.

Similar to previous budget requests, the Administration's CIO request prioritizes paying assessments to international organizations "whose missions substantially advance U.S. foreign policy interests" while proposing funding cuts to those organizations whose work it says either does not directly affect U.S. national security interests or renders unclear results.21 With these intentions in mind, the Administration proposed to eliminate funding to the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), while decreasing U.N. regular budget and specialized agency funding by more than one-third.22 The request intends to maintain near-recent-year levels of U.S. funding for other organizations, including the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).23

For CIPA, the Administration's FY2021 request reflects its ongoing commitment to reduce costs for U.N. peacekeeping missions by reevaluating their respective mandates, design, and implementation. The Administration has stated that its request, when combined with the application of U.N. peacekeeping credits (excess funds from previous U.N. peacekeeping missions), would allow the United States to provide 25% of all assessed global funding for U.N. peacekeeping missions, which is equal to the statutory cap established by Congress.24 However, the current U.S. assessment for U.N. peacekeeping (last negotiated in 2018) is 27.9%, meaning that around $345 million of anticipated U.S. assessed funding would be carried over into arrears.25 This practice has resulted in the accumulation of over $900 million in U.S. peacekeeping arrearages since FY2017.26

Foreign Operations Highlights

The foreign operations accounts in the SFOPS appropriation compose the majority of U.S. foreign assistance included in the international affairs budget; the remainder is enacted in the agriculture appropriation, which provides funding for the Food for Peace Act, Title II and McGovern-Dole International Food for Education and Child Nutrition programs.27 The Administration's FY2021 foreign operations request totals $30.09 billion, representing a 3.7% increase from the Administration's FY2020 request and a 25.7% decrease from FY2020-enacted levels. Total foreign assistance requested for FY2021, including the food assistance funds provided in the agriculture appropriation, would represent a 29.1% reduction from FY2020-enacted levels.

The Administration's budget request articulates five primary goals for U.S. foreign assistance that are meant to align with both the National Security Strategy and the State-USAID Joint Strategic Plan:

  • prioritize global strategic challenges, including countering Chinese, Russian, and Iranian influence;
  • support strategic partners and allies, including Israel, Egypt, Jordan, Colombia, and Venezuela;28
  • enhance commitment to long-term development;
  • strengthen key areas of U.S. leadership, to include global health and humanitarian assistance; and
  • advance U.S. national security and economic interests.29

These goals are also meant to guide the Administration's regional thematic priorities (see "Country and Regional Assistance"), as well as how funds are allocated across assistance types. The Administration's FY2021 budget request proposes cuts in nearly all assistance types (Table 5). The only exception is export promotion assistance, which would see a significant increase. This increase is largely due to proposed funding for the new U.S. Development Finance Corporation (DFC), which the Administration states represents an "expansion of the role of development finance in advancing U.S. interests around the world," and an estimated increase in offsetting collections from the Export-Import Bank.30

Table 5. Foreign Operations, by Type, FY2019-FY2021 Request

(In billions of U.S. dollars)

Type

FY2019 Actual

FY2020 Enacted

FY2021 Request

% change, FY20 enacted to FY21 request

USAID Administration

1.67

1.76

1.59

-9.5%

Global Health Programs

8.87

9.53

6.00

-37.1%

Non-Health Development Assistance
(includes Treasury TA, excludes ind. agencies)

8.10

8.13

6.15

-24.3%

Humanitarian Assistance

7.82

8.74

6.27

-28.3%

Independent Agencies

1.37

1.47

1.21

-17.9%

Security Assistance

9.15

9.01

7.73

-14.2%

Multilateral Assistance

1.85

2.08

1.48

-28.9%

Export Promotion

-0.16

-0.02

-0.34

1379.3%

Foreign Operations Total

40.39

40.70

30.09

-26.1%

Sources: FY2021 SFOPS CBJ; P.L. 116-94; P.L. 116-123; P.L. 116-136; CRS calculations.

Note: FY2020-enacted includes funds from the first and third supplemental appropriations for the novel coronavirus (P.L. 116-123 and P.L. 116-136, respectively).

Key Sectors

Consistent with prior year funding and the FY2020 enacted levels, proposed funding for global health programs, humanitarian assistance, and security assistance comprises approximately two-thirds of the $30.09 billion FY2021 foreign operations budget request (Figure 3).

Figure 3. Foreign Operations, by Type, FY2021 Request

Source: FY2021 SFOPS CBJ.

Global Health Programs

The total FY2021 request for the Global Health Programs (GHP) account is nearly $6.00 billion, representing a 5.4% reduction from the FY2020 budget request and a 37.5% reduction from the FY2020-enacted level, including supplemental appropriations. When compared with FY2020-enacted levels before enactment of supplemental funding for COVID-19, all but one GHP subaccount would be reduced under the budget proposal (Table 6).

Table 6. Global Health Programs, by Subaccount, FY2019-FY2021 Request

(In millions of U.S. dollars)

Subaccount

FY2019 Actual

FY2020 Enacted

FY2021 Request

% change, FY20 enacted to FY21 request

State HIV/AIDS

4,370.0

4,370.0

3,180.3

-27.2%

Global Fund

1,350.0

1,560.0

657.7

-57.8%

USAID HIV/AIDS

330.0

330.0

0.0

-100.0%

USAID Malaria

755.0

770.0

708.5

-8.0%

USAID Maternal and Child Health

835.0

851.0

659.6

-22.5%

USAID Family Planning/ Reproductive Healtha

556.5

524.0

237.0

-54.8%

USAID Nutrition

145.0

150.0

90.0

-40.0%

USAID Tuberculosis

302.0

310.0

275.0

-11.3%

Pandemic Influenza/Otherb
[of which supplemental]

100.0

535.0
[435.0]

115.0

-78.5%

Neglected Tropical Diseases

102.5

102.5

75.0

-26.8%

Vulnerable Children

24.0

25.0

0.0

-100.0%

GHP Total

8,870.0

9,527.5

5,998.1

-37.5%

Source: FY2021 SFOPS CBJ; P.L. 116-94; P.L. 116-123; CRS calculations.

a. FY2019 actual reflects a $32.5 million transfer from the International Organizations and Programs (IO&P) account.

b. FY2020-enacted includes funds from the first supplemental appropriation for the novel coronavirus (P.L. 116-123).

Budget documents indicate that the increase to pandemic influenza funding (when compared with FY2020-enacted appropriations prior to the COVID-19 supplemental funding) would include a $25.00 million deposit of nonexpiring funds to replenish the Emergency Reserve Fund for rapid response to infectious disease outbreaks.31 Observers have expressed concern about the potential cessation of USAID's PREDICT-II pandemic preparedness program in March 2020.32 The Administration does not indicate in the budget request, nor has it specified in any public fora, whether PREDICT-II will be continued. However, the University of California, Davis—one of PREDICT-II's implementing organizations—has reportedly received additional funding from USAID to extend PREDICT-II and continue related work through the "One Health Workforce—Next Generation" project.

Requested cuts to GHP subaccounts range from 8.0% for malaria programs to 100% for USAID's HIV/AIDS and vulnerable children subaccounts. The Administration asserts that despite its proposed reduction to HIV/AIDS funding, the requested level would be sufficient to maintain treatment for all current recipients. The proposal also reflects the Administration's effort to limit U.S. contributions to the Global Fund—an international financing mechanism for efforts to combat AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria—to 25% of all donations, rather than the 33% limit that the United States has provided since the George W. Bush Administration.

As noted above, the Administration's FY2021 request does not include funds for COVID-19, because the request was prepared prior to the outbreak. Congress enacted, and the President signed into law, three supplemental appropriations acts for COVID-19 preparedness and response in March (P.L. 116-123, P.L. 116-127, and P.L. 116-136 ). As of this report's publishing, the Administration has not submitted a request for additional FY2021 funds to combat the virus.33

Humanitarian Assistance

The FY2021 budget request for humanitarian assistance is nearly $6.27 billion, roughly equivalent to the FY2020 request but down 40.1% from the FY2020-enacted level of $10.46 billion.34 In successive years, the Administration has requested levels of humanitarian assistance far lower than those enacted the prior year, at times reflecting the fact that humanitarian assistance funds may be carried over from year to year and unobligated balances from prior years may still be available. On a bipartisan basis, for many years, Congress has consistently supported global humanitarian efforts through appropriation levels well above the budget request (Figure 4).

Figure 4. Humanitarian Assistance Budget Requests and Enacted Funding, by Account, FY2013-FY2021

(In millions of current U.S. dollars)

Sources: FY2021 SFOPS CBJ; P.L. 116-94; P.L. 116-123; P.L. 116-136; CRS calculations.

Notes: "Request" and "Actual" totals sourced from the most recent U.S. Department of State Congressional Budget Justification in which they appeared. This figure includes Food for Peace Act, Title II funds, which are part of the agriculture appropriation, to illustrate the full scope of humanitarian assistance.

Accounts: MRA = Migration and Refugee Assistance, IDA = International Disaster Assistance, ERMA = Emergency Refugee and Migration Assistance, FFP = Food for Peace Act, Title II, and IHA = International Humanitarian Assistance.

In addition to the proposed $6.27 billion in new funding for humanitarian assistance, the Administration's request assumes $2.80 billion in carryover funding from past-year humanitarian assistance. The Administration asserts that the FY2021 request, combined with the estimated carryover, totals close to $9.00 billion, which would allow the United States "to program well above the second highest level ever, and is sufficient to address the needs for Syria, Yemen, and other crisis areas."35

Proposed Humanitarian Account Consolidation

For FY2021, as in FY2020, the Trump Administration proposes to fund all humanitarian assistance through a single International Humanitarian Assistance (IHA) account managed through USAID's new Bureau for Humanitarian Assistance (BHA). The Administration has justified the restructuring as necessary "to optimize humanitarian assistance, prioritize funding, and use funding as effectively and efficiently as possible."36 The proposal would effectively move the administration of overseas refugee and migration assistance funding—currently funded through the Migration and Refugee Assistance (MRA) and Emergency Refugee and Migration Assistance (ERMA) accounts—from the State Department to USAID.37 In FY2020, enacted funding for these accounts totaled $3.78 billion. The budget request would eliminate the ERMA account and significantly reduce funding to MRA, with none for overseas needs. Within USAID, the BHA is in the process of combining the functions of the Offices of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance and Food for Peace. The budget request would eliminate the International Disaster Assistance (IDA) account (FY2020-enacted funding totaled $4.95 billion), as well as Food for Peace Act, Title II emergency food assistance funding, the latter of which is currently appropriated through the agriculture appropriation but administered by USAID (FY2020-enacted funding totaled $1.73 billion). Funds previously requested in these accounts would be consolidated into the IHA account.

Security Assistance

Figure 5. Security Assistance, by Account, FY2019-FY2021 Request

(In billions of current U.S. dollars)

Sources: FY2021 SFOPS CBJ; P.L. 116-94; CRS calculations.

Notes: FMF = Foreign Military Financing; IMET = International Military Education and Training; PKO = Peacekeeping Operations; NADR = Nonproliferation, Anti-terrorism, Demining and Related Programs; INCLE = International Narcotics Control and Law Enforcement.

The Administration is requesting $7.73 billion in international security assistance for FY2021, an increase of 4.3% from the FY2020 request and 14.3% below the FY2020-enacted level. The greatest cuts to security assistance accounts would be to Peacekeeping Operations (PKO, -36.6%) and International Military Education and Training (IMET, -27.4%) (Figure 5).38

Consistent with prior year requests and appropriations, the majority of security assistance ($5.19 billion) would be for Foreign Military Financing (FMF) to the Middle East, including $3.30 billion in grants to Israel. As in the Trump Administration's past three budget proposals, the FY2021 request seeks flexibility to provide FMF assistance through a combination of grants and loans, including loan guarantees, rather than the current use of FMF on an almost exclusive grant basis. The Administration asserts that this authority would both "expand the tools available to the United States to help NATO and Major-Non NATO allies39 purchase more American-made defense equipment and related services" and "increase burden sharing by asking these partners to contribute more national funds to foreign military sales cases."40

Development Assistance and Export Promotion

The remaining third of the FY2021 foreign operations request proposes to allocate funds to development sectors other than those related to global health, independent agencies, multilateral assistance, and export promotion agencies.

Development Assistance

The FY2021 budget request would reduce funding from FY2020-enacted levels in a number of development sectors (Table 7). Environment-focused aid, for example, would be cut by 86.3%, while funding for education and water and sanitation would fall by 61.2%. As with the FY2020 request, the FY2021 request includes a significant increase from prior year-enacted levels to programming that seeks to promote women in developing economies, largely due to a proposed $200.00 million for the Women's Global Development and Prosperity Initiative (W-GDP).41

Table 7. Select Development Sectors, FY2019-FY2021 Request

(In millions of current U.S. dollars)

Sector

FY2019 Actual

FY2020 Enacted

FY2021 Request

% change, FY20 enacted to FY21 request

Democracy Programs (excluding NED)

2,400.0

2,400.0

1,551.4

-35.4%

Education (basic and higher)

1,035.0

1,110.0

430.5

-61.2%

Food Security

1,000.6

1,005.6

506.1

-49.7%

Environment

500.7

906.7

124.6

-86.3%

Economic Growth

n.a.

n.a.

2,194.0

n.a.

Water and Sanitation

435.0

450.0

174.5

-61.2%

Gender

215.0

230.0

525.7

128.6%

Trafficking in Persons

67.0

67.0

77.4

15.5%

Micro and Small Enterprise

265.0

265.0

144.2

-45.6%

Diplomatic Progress Fund

n.a.

n.a.

200.0

n.a.

Sources: FY2021 SFOPS CBJ; P.L. 116-94; CRS calculations.

Proposed Economic Support and Development Fund

Under the FY2021 request, most development accounts—Development Assistance (DA); Economic Support Fund (ESF); Assistance to Europe, Eurasia and Central Asia (AEECA); and the Democracy Fund (DF)—would be combined into a single new Economic Support and Development Fund (ESDF). The Administration asserts that this consolidated account would streamline the deployment of resources, increasing efficiency in foreign assistance. Because the consolidated account would incorporate what are now both core and shared USAID accounts, it remains unclear what portion of the new account USAID would manage or implement. The Administration made a similar request in the FY2018, FY2019, and FY2020 budget requests, but Congress did not enact the proposals.

The FY2021 budget request nestles the Relief and Recovery Fund (RRF) and a proposed new Diplomatic Progress Fund (DPF)—both previously requested as separate budget items—under the proposed ESDF account. According to the justification, the DPF would "allow the State Department and USAID to respond to new opportunities arising from progress in diplomatic and peace efforts around the world."42 While Congress provided funds for the RRF in previous fiscal years, Congress has not accepted the Administration's proposal for the DPF.

Independent Agencies

The Administration's FY2021 request would reduce funding to the Peace Corps (-19.5%) and the Millennium Challenge Corporation (-11.6%). The request also proposes eliminating the Inter-American Foundation (IAF) and the U.S African Development Foundation (USADF), and incorporating staff and small grant activities of the two foundations into USAID's new Bureau for Development, Democracy, and Innovation.43 The Administration maintains that this consolidation would allow USAID to "capitalize on the existing expertise, capacity, relationships, and tools that USADF and IAF provide, including their regional and market segment emphases, in order to reinforce U.S. government bilateral development efforts."44 To implement the shuttering of the IAF and USADF, the Administration requests $3.85 million and $4.66 million, respectively.

Multilateral Assistance

SFOPS multilateral assistance accounts provide for U.S. payments to multilateral development banks and international organizations that pool funding from multiple donors to finance development activities.45 The Administration's FY2021 request would reduce these accounts by 28.9% from FY2020-enacted levels. As in the Trump Administration's three previous requests, the proposal would eliminate funding for the International Organizations and Programs (IO&P) account, which funds U.S. voluntary contributions to international organizations, primarily United Nations entities such as UNICEF. Congress appropriated $390.50 million for IO&P in FY2020. The Administration also proposes eliminating funds for the Global Environment Facility (GEF) and the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD). For the GEF, the Administration asserts that carryover funds from FY2019 and FY2020 appropriations are sufficient to meet the U.S. pledge to the GEF's seventh replenishment.46

Export Promotion

The FY2021 request includes an increased investment in the U.S. Development Finance Corporation (DFC), established in 2019 to implement the BUILD Act.47 However, the Administration would eliminate funding for the U.S. Trade and Development Agency—the request includes $12.11 million for the agency's "orderly closeout"—and an 8.3% reduction from FY2020-enacted levels for the Export-Import Bank of the United States' Operations account.48 As in previous years, the Administration assumes that all export promotion expenditures would be offset by collections. In the FY2021 request, the Administration assumes $711.20 million and $496.00 million in offsetting collections from the Export-Import Bank and the DFC, respectively.

Country and Regional Assistance

The Administration organizes much of its country and regional assistance into six thematic priorities (Figure 6). These priorities are also meant to reflect the broader foreign operations goals outlined in "Foreign Operations Highlights."

Figure 6. Regional Thematic Priorities, FY2021 Request

Source: Created by CRS using Administration's FY2021 budget rollout documents presented on February 10, 2020.

Note: This map does not capture all bilateral assistance included in the FY2021 request. Other countries would receive assistance but are not in the Administration's calculations for these thematic priorities.

Top country recipients under the FY2021 request remain consistent with prior year funding allocations. Israel, Egypt, and Jordan would remain the top three recipients of foreign assistance—though Egypt would move ahead of Jordan when compared with FY2019 actual funding—largely due to the proposed levels of military aid for those three countries. Other countries that the Administration maintains are strategically significant, including Afghanistan and Ukraine, also remain top country recipients in the FY2021 request, as do several African countries that would receive high levels of global health and development aid (Table 8).

Regionally, the Middle East and Africa would receive the largest shares of aid in the FY2021 request—together comprising about 71.5% of total aid allocated by country or region—consistent with FY2019 year actuals (Figure 7). Proposed funding for Europe and Eurasia and, separately, the Indo-Pacific, come to 3.9% and 9.2%, respectively. Notably, the distribution of assistance within regions vary significantly. For example, Africa receives a majority of GHP funding (58.1% in FY2019 and a proposed 66.7% for FY2021), but accounts for a small proportion of INCLE funding (5.2% in FY2019 and a proposed 4.1% for FY2021). In comparison, the Western Hemisphere region accounts for a small percentage of GHP (2.5% in FY2019 and a proposed 2.2% for FY2021) and a large proportion of INCLE funds (37.7% in FY2019 and a proposed 44.8% for FY2021).

Table 8. Top Aid Recipients by Country, FY2019 Actual and FY2021 Request

(In millions of current U.S. dollars)

FY2019 Actual

FY2021 Request

Israel

$3,300.0

Israel

$3,300.0

Jordan

$1,525.0

Egypt

$1,400.0

Egypt

$1,419.3

Jordan

$1,300.0

South Africa

$735.0

Nigeria

$472.1

Nigeria

$658.5

Mozambique

$456.5

Uganda

$487.4

Colombia

$412.9

Afghanistan

$476.5

Afghanistan

$371.8

Iraq

$451.5

Kenya

$330.4

Ukraine

$445.7

Tanzania

$328.7

Zambia

$442.9

Ukraine

$316.9

Sources: FY2021 SFOPS CBJ; FY2019 653(a) allocation charts provided by the State Department.

Notes: This reflects only assistance that is requested at the country or regional level, not funds for global activities or humanitarian funds.

Figure 7. Proportional Aid, by Region, FY2019 Actual and FY2021 Request

(In billions of current U.S. dollars)

Source: FY2021 SFOPS CBJ.

Appendix A. SFOPS Funding, by Account

Table A-1. Department of State, Foreign Operations, and Related Agencies Appropriations, FY2019 Actual, FY2020 Enacted, and FY2021 Request

(In millions of U.S. dollars; number in parentheses are the portion of the account totals designated as OCO or emergency funds)

 

FY2019 Actual

FY2020 Enacted
(P.L. 116-94, P.L. 116-123, P.L. 116-136)

FY2021 Request

% Change, FY2020 Enacted vs. FY2021 Request

Title I. State, Broadcasting & Related Agencies, TOTAL

16,536.59
(4,064.57)

17,312.18
(4,778.01)

14,034.56

-18.93%

Administration of Foreign Affairs, Subtotal

12,408.55
(2,979.67)

12,943.96
(3,693.11)

11,110.21

-14.17%

Diplomatic Programs

9,253.95
(2,942.77)

9,713.69
(3,214.12)ab

8,489.89

-12.60%

(of which Worldwide Security Protection)

[4,095.90]
(2,626.12)

[4,095.90]
(2,626.12)

[3,695.41]

-9.78%

Capital Investment Fund

92.77

139.50

256.70

84.01%

Office of Inspector General

145.73
(54.90)

145.73
(54.90)

141.42

-2.96%

Ed. & Cultural Exchanges

700.95

730.70

310.00

-57.57%

Representation Expenses

8.03

7.21

7.41

2.79%

Protection of Foreign Missions & Officials

30.89

30.89

25.90

-16.15%

Embassy Security, Construction & Maintenance

1,975.45

1,975.45
(424.09)

1,683.76

-14.78%

(of which Worldwide Security Upgrades)

[1,198.25]

[1,205.65]
(424.09)

[941.66]

-21.90%

Emergency-Diplomatic & Consular Services

7.89

7.89

7.89

Repatriation Loans

1.30

1.30

1.30

Payment American Institute Taiwan

31.96

31.96

26.31

-17.68%

International Chancery Center

0.74

0.74

0.74

Foreign Service Retirement (mandatory)

158.90

158.90

158.90

International Orgs, Subtotal

2,911.17
(1,084.90)

3,000.19
(1,084.90)

2,045.42

-31.82%

Contributions to Int'l Orgs

1,360.27
(96.24)

1,473.81
(96.24)

966.22

-34.44%

Contributions, Int'l Peacekeeping

1,550.90
(988.66)

1,526.38
(988.66)

1,079.20

-29.30%

International Commissions, Subtotal (Function 300)

141.44

162.80

144.11

-11.48%

Int'l Boundary/U.S.-Mexico

77.53

85.07

98.77

16.10%

American Sections

13.26

15.01

10.66

-28.96%

Int'l Fisheries

50.65

62.72

34.68

-44.71%

Agency for Global Media, Subtotal

807.90

810.40

637.25

-21.37%

Broadcasting Operations

798.20

798.70

632.73

-20.78%

Capital Improvements

9.70

11.70

4.52

-61.37%

Related Programs, Subtotal

252.78

381.34

83.59

-78.08%

Asia Foundation

17.00

19.00

-100.00%

U.S. Institute for Peace

38.63

45.00

15.74

-65.02%

Center for Middle East-West Dialogue

0.19

0.25

0.25

2.04%

Eisenhower Exchange Programs

0.19

0.27

0.21

-22.59%

Israeli-Arab Scholarship Program

0.07

0.12

0.12

-4.03%

East-West Center

16.70

16.70

-100.00%

Nat'l Endowment for Democracy

180.00

300.00

67.28

-77.58%

Other Commissions, Subtotal

14.75

13.50

13.97

-3.46%

Preservation of America's Heritage Abroad

0.68

0.68

0.64

-4.89%

Int'l Religious Freedom

4.50

4.50

4.50

Security & Cooperation in Europe

2.58

2.58

2.58

Cong.-Exec. Commission on People's Republic of China

2.00

2.25

2.25

U.S.-China Economic and Security Review

3.50

3.50

4.00

14.29%

Western Hem. Drug Policy Commission

1.50

0.00

Foreign Operations, TOTAL

38,463.96
(3,935.43)

40,475.46
(5,
869.46)

30,088.86

-25.66%

Title II. Admin of Foreign Assistance

1,674.48
(158.07)

1,759.05
(96.00)

1,591.75

-9.51%

USAID Operating Expenses

1,372.88
(158.07)

1,472.25
(95.00)b

1,311.87

-10.89%

USAID Capital Investment Fund

225.00

210.30

205.00

-2.52%

USAID Inspector General

76.60

76.50
(1.00)a

74.88

-2.12%

Title III: Bilateral Economic Assistance

25,948.70
(3,222.78)

27,642.99
(4,936.34)

19,623.49

-29.01%

Global Health Programs (GHP), State + USAID

8,869.95

9,527.45
(435.00)a

5,998.00

-37.05%

(of which USAID)

[3,149.95]

[3,597.45]

[2,160.10]

-39.95%

(of which State)

[5,720.00]

[5,930.00]

[3,837.87]

-35.28%

Development Assistance

3,000.00

3,400.00

n.a.

International Disaster Assistance

4,385.31
(584.27)

4,953.36
(2,291.98)ab

n.a.

Transition Initiatives

92.04
(62.04)

92.04

112.00

21.68%

Complex Crises Fund

30.00

30.00

-100.00%

Development Credit Authority—Admin

10.00

Development Credit Authority Subsidy

[55.00]

Economic Support Fund

3,692.86
(1,172.34)

3,295.00
(250.00)a

n.a.

Economic Support and Development Fund

5,925.60

n.a.

Democracy Fund

227.20

273.70

n.a.

Assistance for Europe, Eurasia and Central Asia

760.33

770.33

n.a.

Migration & Refugee Assistance

3,432.00
(1,404.12)

3,782.00
(1,871.36)b

299.21

-92.09%

International Humanitarian Assistance

5,968.00

n.a.

Emergency Refugee and Migration Assistance

1.00

0.10

n.a.

Independent Agencies, Subtotal

1,368.00

1,474.00
(88.00)

1,209.71

-17.93%

Peace Corps

410.50

498.50
(88.00)b

401.20

-19.52%

Millennium Challenge Corporation

905.00

905.00

800.00

-11.60%

Inter-American Foundation

22.50

37.50

3.85

-89.73%

U.S. African Development Foundation

30.00

33.00

4.66

-85.88%

Department of the Treasury, Subtotal

30.00

45.00

111.00

146.67%

Department of the Treasury Technical Assistance

30.00

30.00

33.00

10.00%

Debt Restructuring

15.00

78.00

420.00%

Title IV. Int'l Security Assistance

9,153.08
(554.59)

9,013.95
(837.12)

7,729.66

-14.25%

International Narcotics Control & Law Enforcement

1,497.47

1,391.00

1,010.28

-27.37%

Nonproliferation, Anti-Terrorism, Demining

864.55

895.75

753.55

-15.87%

Peacekeeping Operations

488.67
(325.21)

457.35
(325.21)

290.00

-36.59%

International Military Education & Training

110.78

112.93

104.93

-7.08%

Foreign Military Financing

6,191.61
(229.37)

6,156.92
(511.91)

5,570.90

-9.52%

Title V. Multilateral Assistance

1,849.20

2,082.28

1,481.24

-28.86%

International Organizations & Programs

331.50

390.50

-100.00%

Int'l Bank for Reconstruction and Development

206.50

206.50

World Bank: Global Environment Facility

139.58

139.58

-100.00%

World Bank: Int'l Development Association

1,097.01

1,097.01

1,001.40

-8.72%

Asian Development Fund

47.40

47.40

47.40

African Development Bank-Capital

32.42

54.65

n.a.

African Development Fund

171.3

171.30

171.30

International Fund for Agricultural Development

30.00

30.00

-100.00%

Title VI. Export Assistance

-161.49

-22.80

-337.27

1,379.26%

Export-Import Bank (net)

100.05

-34.30

-689.05

1908.90%

Overseas Private Investment Corporation

-341.04

Development Finance Corporation

-68.00

339.68

599.53%

Trade & Development Agency

79.50

79.50

12.11

-84.77%

State, Foreign Operations & Related Programs, TOTAL

55,000.55
(8,000.00)

57,787.64
(
10,647.46)

44,123.42

-23.65%

Ad Ons/Rescissions, net

-324.62

-578.74
(-282.46)

State, Foreign Operations & Related Programs, Net of Rescissions

54,675.93
(8,000.00)

57,208.90
(
10,365.00)

44,123.42

-22.87%

Sources: FY2019 Actuals and the FY2021 request are from the FY2021 SFOPS CBJ; FY2020 enacted data are from P.L. 116-94, Division G, P.L. 116-123, and P.L. 116-136.

Notes: Figures in brackets are subsumed in the larger account above and are not counted against the total. Figures in parentheses are amount designated as Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO) and are subsumed in the larger account number above them. "Enduring" funding is also sometimes referred to as "base" or "ongoing" funding in budget documents. Numbers may not add due to rounding. "n.a." = not applicable.

a. Includes funding for the first novel coronavirus (COVID-19) supplemental appropriation, P.L. 116-123. That legislation appropriated $264 million for Diplomatic Programs, $1 million for the USAID Inspector General, $435 million for Global Health Programs-USAID, $300 million for International Disaster Assistance, and $250 million for the Economic Support Fund. All of these funds were designated as being for an emergency requirement. As such, like OCO funds, they do not count against BCA discretionary spending caps.

b. Includes funding for the third novel coronavirus supplemental appropriations, P.L. 116-136. That legislation included $324 million for Diplomatic Programs, $95 million for USAID Operating Expenses, $258 million for International Disaster Assistance, $250 million for Migration and Refugee Assistance, and $88 million for the Peace Corps.

Appendix B. International Affairs Budget

The International Affairs budget, or Function 150, includes funding that is not in the Department of State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs (SFOPS) appropriation; in particular, international food assistance programs (Food for Peace Act (FFPA), Title II and McGovern-Dole International Food for Education and Child Nutrition programs) are in the Agriculture Appropriations, and the Foreign Claim Settlement Commission and the International Trade Commission are in the Commerce, Justice, Science appropriations. In addition, the Department of State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs appropriation measure includes funding for certain international commissions that are not part of the International Affairs Function 150 account.

Table B-1. International Affairs Budget, FY2019 Actual, FY2020 Enacted, and FY2021 Request

(In millions of U.S. dollars)

 

FY2019 Actual

FY2020 Enacted
(P.L. 116-93, P.L. 116-94, P.L. 116-136)

FY2021 Request

% Change, FY2020 Enacted vs. FY2021 Request

State-Foreign Operations, excluding commissionsa

54,534.49

56,946.10

43,979.32

-22.77%

Commerce-Justice-Science

99.48

101.74

107.37

5.53%

Foreign Claims Settlement Commission

2.41

2.34

2.37

1.33%

Int'l Trade Commission

97.08

99.40

105.00

5.63%

Agriculture

1,926.26

1,945.00

n.a.

FFPA Title II

1,716.00

1,725.00

n.a.

McGovern-Dole

210.26

220.00

n.a.

Total International Affairs (150)

56,560.23

58,992.84

44,086.68

-25.27%

Sources: FY2019 Actuals and the FY2021 request are from the FY2021 SFOPS CBJ, FY2021 Foreign Claims Settlement Commission CBJ, and FY2021 U.S. International Trade Commission CBJ; FY2020 enacted data are from P.L. 116-93, Division B, P.L. 116-94, Divisions B and G, P.L. 116-123, and P.L. 116-136.

a. Includes mandatory spending from the Foreign Service retirement account, and does not align with budget justification figures that count only discretionary spending. Funding for certain international commissions appropriated in the SFOPS bill are excluded here because they fall under function 300 of the budget (Natural Resources and Environment), not function 150 (International Affairs).

Appendix C. SFOPS Organization Chart

Source: Created by CRS from annual SFOPS legislation.

Author Contact Information

Cory R. Gill, Analyst in Foreign Affairs ([email address scrubbed], [phone number scrubbed])
Marian L. Lawson, Section Research Manager ([email address scrubbed], [phone number scrubbed])
Emily M. Morgenstern, Analyst in Foreign Assistance and Foreign Policy ([email address scrubbed], [phone number scrubbed])

Footnotes

1.

The payment covers the U.S. government's contribution to the Foreign Service Retirement and Disability System and the Foreign Service Pension System for USAID and the Department of State. It is the only mandatory spending in the SFOPS appropriation.

The SFOPS budget aligns closely but not exactly with Function 150 (International Affairs) of the federal budget. The primary exception is funding for international food aid programs, which are part of Function 150 but funded through the agriculture appropriation. SFOPS also includes funding for international commissions in the Function 300 budget (see Appendix B).

2.

For more information on international affairs funding for COVID-19 response, see CRS In Focus IF11496, COVID-19 and Foreign Assistance: Issues for Congress, by Nick M. Brown, Marian L. Lawson, and Emily M. Morgenstern, and CRS Report R46319, Novel Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19): Q&A on Global Implications and Responses, coordinated by Tiaji Salaam-Blyther.

3.

For more information on BBA 2019, see CRS Insight IN11148, The Bipartisan Budget Act of 2019: Changes to the BCA and Debt Limit, by Grant A. Driessen and Megan S. Lynch.

4.

For more information on the use of OCO in the international affairs budget, see CRS In Focus IF10143, Foreign Affairs Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO) Funding: Background and Current Status, by Emily M. Morgenstern.

5.

Congress provided $264 million in COVID-19 supplemental funds the Diplomatic Programs account pursuant to P.L. 116-123, the Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2020. Subsequently, Congress provided an additional $324 million COVID-19 supplemental funds for the same account pursuant to the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act (P.L. 116-136).

6.

Letter transmitted from Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo to Congress, February 10, 2020.

7.

U.S. Department of State, Congressional Budget Justification: Department of State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs, Fiscal Year 20201, February 10, 2020, pp. 10-18.

8.

U.S. Department of State, "Global Engagement Center," https://www.state.gov/bureaus-offices/under-secretary-for-public-diplomacy-and-public-affairs/global-engagement-center/.

9.

For example, see Senator Robert Menendez, "Menendez Calls for Swift Action on Countering Kremlin Propaganda With Congressionally Authorized Funds," March 5, 2018, https://www.menendez.senate.gov/news-and-events/press/menendez-calls-for-swift-action-on-countering-kremlin-propaganda-with-congressionally-authorized-funds; and Senator Rob Portman, "At Senate Foreign Relations Committee Hearing, Portman Questions Secretary Pompeo on Global Engagement Center, Continuing Aid for Ukraine, and Expanding Sanctions on Russia," April 10, 2019, at https://www.portman.senate.gov/newsroom/press-releases/senate-foreign-relations-committee-hearing-portman-questions-secretary.

10.

U.S. Department of State, Congressional Budget Justification, p. 11.

11.

Sean Lyngaas, "State Department proposes new $20.8 million cybersecurity bureau," Cyberscoop, June 5, 2019, at https://www.cyberscoop.com/state-department-proposes-new-20-8-million-cybersecurity-bureau/.

12.

Over the past several years, Congress provided no-year appropriations for both WSP and ESCM, thereby authorizing the State Department to indefinitely retain appropriated funds beyond the fiscal year for which they were appropriated. As a result, the department has carried over large balances of unexpired, unobligated WSP and ESCM funds each year that it is authorized to obligate for purposes including multiyear construction projects and unexpected security contingencies.

13.

U.S. Department of State, Congressional Budget Justification, p. 14.

14.

U.S. Department of State, Congressional Budget Justification, Appendix 1: Department of State Diplomatic Engagement, Fiscal Year 2021, February 10, 2020, p. 328.

15.

U.S. Department of State, Congressional Budget Justification, p. 14.

16.

U.S. Department of State, Congressional Budget Justification, p. 15.

17.

U.S. Department of State, Congressional Budget Justification, Appendix 1: Department of State Diplomatic Engagement, pp. 1-2.

18.

U.S. Department of State, Congressional Budget Justification, Appendix 1: Department of State Diplomatic Engagement, p. 331.

19.

U.S. Department of State, Congressional Budget Justification, pp. 40-41. On April 14, 2020, President Donald Trump announced that the United States would suspend funding to the World Health Organization (WHO), pending a 60- to 90-day review, because of WHO's "role in severely mismanaging and covering up the spread of the coronavirus." For more information, see CRS Insight IN11369, U.S. Funding to the World Health Organization (WHO), by Luisa Blanchfield and Tiaji Salaam-Blyther.

20.

Successive Administrations have also requested funds for the U.N. Support office in Somalia (UNSOS) under the Contributions for International Peacekeeping Activities (CIPA) account. However, Congress generally has appropriated funds for UNSOS through the Peacekeeping Operations (PKO) account.

21.

U.S. Department of State, Congressional Budget Justification, p. 40.

22.

U.S. Department of State, Congressional Budget Justification, p. 41.

23.

U.S. Department of State, Congressional Budget Justification, p. 41.

24.

See Section 404 of P.L. 103-236.

25.

U.S. Department of State, Congressional Budget Justification, p. 43.

26.

Over the years, the gap between the actual U.S. peacekeeping assessment and the 25% statutory cap led to funding shortfalls. The State Department and Congress often covered these shortfalls by raising the cap for limited periods and allowing for the application of U.N. peacekeeping credits to fund outstanding U.S. balances. For several years, these actions allowed the United States to pay its peacekeeping assessments in full. However, since FY2017 Congress has declined to raise the cap, and in mid-2017, the Trump Administration began the ongoing practice of allowing the application of peacekeeping credits up to, but not beyond, the 25% cap. For more information, see CRS In Focus IF10597, United Nations Issues: U.S. Funding of U.N. Peacekeeping, by Luisa Blanchfield.

27.

For more information on international food assistance programs, see CRS Report R45422, U.S. International Food Assistance: An Overview, by Alyssa R. Casey.

28.

According to the Administration, support for Venezuela would include "bilateral democracy and health assistance for Venezuelans, as well as assistance for Venezuelans fleeing their country and for the communities hosting them." Further, the Administration maintains that it includes flexibility in programming to "support a democratic transition and related needs in Venezuela should circumstances warrant." U.S. Department of State, Congressional Budget Justification, p. 75.

29.

Documents provided by the State Department at budget roll-out briefings, February 10, 2020.

30.

U.S. Department of State, Congressional Budget Justification, p. 108.

31.

In its appropriations measures, Congress designates for how long appropriated funds may be available. Availability may be for a set period of time (e.g., two or five years) or until funds are expended. When the latter, Congress may refer to those as nonexpiring or no-year funds.

32.

For more information on PREDICT-2, see https://www.usaid.gov/global-health/health-areas/emerging-pandemic-threats/programs and https://www.usaid.gov/sites/default/files/documents/1864/predict-global-flyer-508.pdf.

33.

For more information on the U.S. response to COVID-19, see CRS In Focus IF11421, COVID-19: Global Implications and Responses, by Sara M. Tharakan et al.

34.

Total FY2020-enacted funding includes supplemental funds enacted in two COVID-19 supplemental appropriations: and.

35.

FY2021 SFOPS CBJ, p. 80.

36.

In FY2020, the Administration proposed a "senior dual-hat leader" under the authority of the Secretary of State but reporting to both the Secretary of State and the USAID Administrator, which appears to have been replaced by "leveraging the comparative strengths of the Department of State and USAID under the authority of the Secretary of State." FY2021 SFOPS CBJ, p. 80.

37.

There is no request in the Migration Refugee Assistance (MRA) account for overseas humanitarian needs. However, the State Department's Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration (PRM) would retain $299.21 million in MRA funding to support U.S. refugee admissions, Humanitarian Migrants to Israel, and PRM administrative expenses, as well as other activities such as policy oversight and diplomatic engagement. Transfer authority would reportedly allow funding to move from IHA to MRA should the MRA funds be insufficient.

38.

FY2021 PKO request figures include funds for the U.N. Support office in Somalia (UNSOS), which successive Administrations have requested under the Contributions for International Peacekeeping Activities (CIPA) account, but Congress generally has appropriated through the Peacekeeping Operations (PKO) account.

39.

Major non-NATO allies are designated by the President, in accordance with 22 U.S.C. §2321k.

40.

FY2021 SFOPS CBJ, p. 99.

41.

The Administration launched the W-GDP Initiative in February 2019. The Initiative aims to "reach 50 million women in the developing world by 2025 through U.S. government activities, private-public partnerships, and a new, innovative fund" (https://www.whitehouse.gov/wgdp/). In its FY2020 request, the Administration requested $100 million for the initiative; consistent with that request, in final FY2020 appropriations (P.L. 116-94), Congress designated that "up to $100 million may be made available for a Women's Global Development and Prosperity Fund."

42.

FY2021 SFOPS CBJ, p. 77.

43.

The Trump Administration was not the first to propose elimination of the Inter-American Foundation. In 1999, Congress passed legislation (P.L. 106-113, later amended by P.L. 106-429) that authorized the President during FY2000-FY2001 to abolish the Inter-American Foundation. However, the President did not exercise the authority during FY2000-FY2001.

44.

FY2021 SFOPS CBJ, pp. 85-86.

45.

For more information on U.S. payments to multilateral development banks, see CRS Report RS20792, Multilateral Development Banks: U.S. Contributions FY2000-FY2020, by Rebecca M. Nelson.

46.

FY2021 SFOPS CBJ, p. 104.

47.

For more on the DFC's structure and operations, see CRS In Focus IF11436, U.S. International Development Finance Corporation (DFC), by Shayerah Ilias Akhtar and Nick M. Brown.

48.

FY2021 SFOPS CBJ, p. 106.