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House Appropriations Committee Passes $66 Billion Fiscal Year 2021 State, Foreign Operations Bill

The Bill Includes Funding for Hawai’i Projects and Priorities Sought by Appropriations Committee Member Case and Solidifying Hawaii’s Central Role in the Indo-Pacific

(Honolulu, HI) – Congressman Ed Case (HI-01) announced today that he secured an 18% increase in funding for the East-West Center, situated on the campus of the University of Hawai‘i at Manōa, in the U.S. House Appropriations Committee’s recommended Fiscal Year 2021 State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs appropriations bill.

Case serves on the House Appropriations Committee, which today approved passage of the bill, the first of 12 separate appropriations measures for the coming federal fiscal year.

“Our allies and partners and friends all over the world are clear that they look even more in these times to the United States to engage, stabilize and lead, and it is even more in our own national interests that we do so,” said Case.

“This bill answers that call by bolstering our commitments to diplomacy, development and democracy, and our continued funding over the years of the East-West Center and other key institutions is critical to those efforts.”

Provisions of interest to Hawai‘i secured by Case include:

  • $19.7 million for the East-West Center, an increase of $3 million over the FY 2020 enacted level.
  • Report language directing the Export-Import Bank (EXIM) to study and enhance its outreach to areas of the United States that have received disproportionately less engagement and financing support from EXIM. Hawai‘i is among a handful of states that receive disproportionately less export financing from EXIM relative to gross domestic product.

As founding co-chair of the Congressional Pacific Islands Caucus, Case also secured several provisions related to the Pacific Islands:

  • Recommended funding under Titles III and IV to strengthen maritime security and combat transnational crime, improve health care, mitigate and adapt to environmental challenges, reduce disaster risk, promote economic development and strengthen democratic governance.
  • Report language urging the new U.S. Development Finance Corporation (DFC) to prioritize investments in the Pacific Islands, including to support women’s economic empowerment, and requiring a report on a strategy to increase DFC investments in the region.
  • Report language requiring an assessment of U.S. diplomatic and development presence in the Pacific Islands and a strategy to fill any such gaps.
  • Report language supporting coverage of Voice of America in the Pacific Islands on digital and conventional media and directing the U.S. Agency for Global Media to include plans for expanding such coverage for FY 2021.

In his remarks to his fellow Appropriations Committee members, Case said: “Defense capacity alone, while critical, won’t itself maintain our leadership throughout the Indo-Pacific, and in fact to rely on that solely would be the same mistake others have made and are making.

“It is in this bill’s non-defense projection that the greatest opportunities to sustain and boost our leadership to date lie.”

Case also successfully secured new report language requiring a first-ever Indo-Pacific climate security report. This report would include an assessment of how climate change impacts the Indo-Pacific Strategy and its long-term implementation, as well as a plan for how to mitigate such impacts through diplomatic, security, and development engagements.

“This bill is a critical ingredient in both refining and funding a cohesive strategy for advancing our interests and values in my own back yard, the Indo-Pacific. In this vast region lie our most committed friends and opponents and everything in between, our greatest opportunities and risks; in fact, to many, myself included, the future of our country and world.”

The committee’s State, Foreign Operations bill funds the Department of State, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and other international programs for Fiscal Year 2021. 

This bill provides $65.87 billion in funding, $8.5 billion above the FY 2020 enacted level and $21.2 billion above the President’s request. The bill provides over $10 billion in COVID-19 preparedness, response and recovery globally, in addition to $47.85 billion in discretionary funding to the State Department, USAID, and other international programs.

Case said the bill also commits to an engaged U.S. foreign policy to promote peace, security, development, democracy and human rights abroad, including through cooperation with allies, partners and multilateral organizations.

This includes:

  • $3.55 billion in multilateral assistance, including Contributions to International Organizations;
  • $2.64 billion for Global Health Programs, as well as $5.93 billion for the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) and the Global Fund;
  • $7.83 billion in humanitarian assistance, including through Migration and Refugee Assistance and International Disaster Assistance;
  • $2.4 billion for democracy programs;
  • $741.7 million for Educational and Cultural Exchange programs;
  • $975 million for International Basic Education; and
  • $410.5 million for the Peace Corps.

Case’s remarks to the Committee on the critical role of the Info-Pacific during consideration of the bill are here.

His written remarks are here.


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