Less money for the State Department?

The House Appropriations Committee released budget allocations (the 302Bs) to each subcommittee today for the FY10 budget. The number for State-Foreign Ops, $48.8 billion, is disappointing, nearly $5 billion less than what the President requested and certainly not enough to fulfill his committments to Foreign Aid and the Foreign Service.

On top of that, CQ is erroneously reporting that the subcommittee is “set to receive significant increases above the current fiscal year’s spending levels.” That simply isn’t true. They failed to calculate the significant amount included in two supplemental spending bills (we’ve been repeatedly told not to expect the same in the future), which brings this year’s spending to roughly $50 billion and means the current allocation represents a significant contraction in diplomatic spending right at the moment when it is needed most. 

If the $48.8 billion still seems high to you, you would be wise to keep in mind that it represents a only 1.4% of the total budget and just 7% of the total ‘national security budget.’ The Department of Defense was allocated $508 billion, $20 billion more than last year (an increase equal to 40 percent of the entire State-Foreign Ops allocation).