The White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) no longer intends to submit rescission package to Congress that would target foreign assistance funding. However, OMB has placed a limit on the amount of funding that USAID and State Department can obligate per day.
A short-term Continuing Resolution will likely need to be passed by Congress before September 30th to provide sufficient time to complete bicameral negotiations.
On August 3rd, the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) initiated a review of unobligated foreign assistance funding that is set to expire at the end of the fiscal year on September 30th, 2019. It has been reported that OMB may submit a rescission package (a formal request to rescind existing unobligated funding back to the Treasury Department) to Congress by August 20th. The rescission package would propose to effectively cancel an undisclosed amount of unobligated foreign assistance funds. Until a proposal is submitted to Congress, the White House is limiting State Department and USAID obligations to 2% of available funding per day.
On June 17th, the State Department officially announced that it will not provide new funds for programs in Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador until "we are satisfied the Northern Triangle governments are taking concrete actions to reduce the number of illegal migrants coming to the U.S. Border." BEC will continue to work with our allies in the community and in Congress in the coming weeks to push back against this decision.
The State Department released the 2019 Trafficking in Persons Report on June 20th. The Administration has the ability to apply sanctions and suspend some types of foreign assistance to countries that are designated as Tier 3 in the TIP report (countries that are deemed as not taking significant action to combat human trafficking). Here is the link to the 2019 report. It is important to note that Laos is no longer listed as Tier 3 in the 2019 report and should not be subject to any TIP report-related sanctions activity going forward. The DRC and South Sudan are once again listed as Tier 3 in the 2019 report, however no other countries that receive education funding from the U.S. were added to the Tier 3 category this year.
The House of Representatives’ FY2020 State and Foreign Operations appropriations bill includes $925,000,000 for Basic Education, of which $100,000,000 is designated for the Global Partnership for Education and $25,000,000 is designated for Education Cannot Wait. The accompanying FY20 House appropriations report also includes positive language on foundational skills, local capacity building, leadership development, girls’ education, early childhood education, early childhood development, and cross-sectoral programming. The Senate's proposed FY20 funding levels will be released later this summer.
The Basic Education Coalition is grateful to Chairwoman Nita Lowey (D-NY) and the Members of the House Subcommittee on State and Foreign Operations for including $925 million for Basic Education in the Fiscal Year 2020 State and Foreign Operations appropriations bill.
The Basic Education Coalition applauds Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Congresswoman Lois Frankel (D-FL), Congresswoman Susan Brooks (R-IN), Congresswoman Nita Lowey (D-NY), and Congressman Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA) for announcing the bipartisan introduction of the Keeping Girls in School Act today in both Chambers of Congress.
Members of the Basic Education Coalition work in partnership with USAID every day in Central America to help children learn how to read, address gender-based violence in schools, provide trainings on evidence-based teaching practices, equip youth with the skills needed for a successful career, establish community-based service-learning programs, and expand access to learning materials and technology.
Suspending U.S. funding for these critical activities will only further exacerbate local tensions and decrease the likelihood that children in these communities will grow up safe, educated, and ready to pursue a vibrant and prosperous future.
The Basic Education Coalition applauds Congress for sustaining funding for international basic education at $800,000,000 in the Fiscal Year 2019 State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs Bill. Congressional support for international education ensures that the United States will continue to be a leader in the effort to improve education opportunities around the world.
The Basic Education Coalition is pleased to announce that Congressman Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA) will be joining Congressman Mike Quigley (D-IL) as the new Co-Chair of the Congressional International Basic Education Caucus.
Congressman Fitzpatrick is a longstanding champion of foreign assistance and has continuously supported international education during his tenure in Congress. As Co-Chair of the Congressional International Basic Education Caucus, Congressman Fitzpatrick will serve as a leading voice in Congress on behalf of the millions of children around the world who struggle to gain access to a quality education.
The latest appropriations bill proposed by the new Democratic majority in the House of Representatives would cut U.S. support for international basic education by at least 36%. If enacted, this drastic reduction in funding for a critical component of U.S. foreign assistance would decrease our support for vulnerable children around the world and jeopardize the great development progress that we’ve made to date.
The Basic Education Coalition urges Congress to protect funding for vital U.S. international basic education programs. It is imperative that Members of Congress express their support to House leadership for the original funding level included in the House of Representatives fiscal year 2019 State and Foreign Operations bill to ensure that any final FY2019 appropriations agreement includes at least $800,000,000 for international basic education assistance.
As a result of the midterm election, there will be many changes in the upcoming 116th Congress. The most notable change is that the Democratic Party won control of the House of Representatives and will assume leadership of the House in January. In the next Congress, Democrats will Chair all House Congressional Committees and set the legislative agenda through office of the Speaker of the House. Both parties will hold leadership elections and announce Committee assignments for each chamber in the coming months.
The Basic Education Coalition applauds Congresswoman Lois Frankel (D-FL), Congresswoman Susan Brooks (R-IN), Congresswoman Nita Lowey (D-NY), and Congressman Dan Donovan (R-NY) for introducing the Keeping Girls in School Act in the House of Representatives.
This bill will be a great way for Congress to express support for international education for adolescent girls, and if passed would ensure that USAID continues to address the specific barriers that adolescent girls face in continuing their secondary education. KGISA also codifies the Global Strategy to Empower Adolescent Girls into law and requires successive five-year renewals of the strategy. If your organization is interested in endorsing this legislation when it is introduced next week, please email Kirby (firstname.lastname@example.org) for more information.
Appropriators in the House of Representatives and Senate are working diligently to try and pass as many of the 12 fiscal year 2019 annual appropriations bills as they can before the 2018 fiscal year ends on the 30th of this month.
Given that the State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs (SFOPS) bill has not been passed yet by either chamber of Congress, Congress will pass a short term Continuing Resolution by the end of the month that will fund SFOPS programs, including Basic Education, at current levels until December 7th.
USAID is currently writing their Education Policy and Implementation Guidance which will be released in November. The Policy and Implementation Guidance will be open for public consultation prior to the November release, similar to the roll-out process for the whole-of-government strategy.
USAID has released a draft whole-of-government strategy on international basic education and will be accepting feedback on the draft strategy from July 17th to July 22nd. The BEC Board of Directors will meet with USAID Senior Coordinator for Basic Education Julie Cram on Thursday, July 19th to provide in-person feedback and analysis on the draft strategy. If your organization has additional feedback to share with USAID, please feel free to submit written comments to Kirby (email@example.com) or Beth (firstname.lastname@example.org) by 3:00 PM on Wednesday, July 18th.
Letter from Congress to USAID Administrator Mark Green on Education Strategy: BEC worked closely with Congresswoman Nita Lowey (D-NY) and Congressman Dave Reichert (R-WA) on a letter to USAID Administrator Mark Green that expresses support for the U.S. strategy on international basic education. The letter is closely aligned to BEC’s policy recommendations and we are glad to announce that the bipartisan Congressional letter gained 21 cosigners in the House of Representatives and was well-received by staff at USAID.