The Foreign Service Journal, June 2022

54 JUNE 2022 | THE FOREIGN SERVICE JOURNAL FY22 AFSA Appropriations Outcomes AFSA ON THE HILL | BY KIM GREENPLATE On March 15, President Joe Biden signed the final FY22 appropriations pack- age totaling $1.5 trillion into law, including supplemental funding for the response to Ukraine. While the FY22 International Affairs Budget overall contained only a mod- est increase, well below what the House and Senate had proposed, accounts affecting AFSA’s members and policy priorities fared very well. For example, more funding was dedicated to Ongoing Operations at the State Department this year than in the past few years, mov- ing away from the trend of increases to Worldwide Secu- rity Protection funds at the expense of Ongoing Opera- tions funds. Both WSP and OO are part of the broader Diplomatic Programs account for the State Department. Ongoing Operations includes funding for “core diplomatic functions,” defined by the Congressio- nal Budget Justification as: “in-depth knowledge and understanding of political and economic events in many nations [as a] basic require- ment of diplomacy,” through “reporting, analysis and personal contact work,” as well as through public diplo- macy activities “intended to understand, inform and influence foreign publics and broaden dialogue between American citizens institutions and counterparts abroad” (FY2002 CBJ Submission for the Department of State, page 16). Specifically, State Depart- ment Ongoing Operations funding increased by $341.5 million from FY21. AFSA also saw significant funding increases for the other foreign affairs agencies. Most notable was an increase in USAID Operating Expenses of more than $250 million. Both FAS and APHIS saw sig- nificant increases for salaries and expenses, either meeting or exceeding the president’s budget request. USAGM was appropriated $860 million, which is $57 million above FY21 funding and $46.6 million above the president’s budget request. The Commerce Department’s account (the International Trade Administration), includ- ing the FCS, was increased by $29 million with instruc- tions to expand in regions of international strategic signifi- cance for the United States. The FY22 appropriations package also included a new authority to shift passport application and execution fees currently deposited in the General Fund of the Treasury to support consular operations. This authority was estimated to provide a minimum of $340 million in additional resources for consular operations. The package also included $9.5 million to support the Office of Diversity and Inclu- sion at the State Department and $6 million each for the Pickering and Rangel Fel- lowships. The package also appropriated the authority for the State Department to provide up to $8 million for paid internships to expand the pool of participants in the International Career Advancement Program. Paid internships have been among AFSA’s advocacy priorities. On AFSA’s efforts to increase the number of positions at foreign affairs agencies, the following text in the package’s explanatory statement was encouraging to see: • The agreement includes funding for additional Foreign Service officers and Civil Ser- vice positions for the Depart- ment of State in Fiscal Year 2022. Prior to submitting the operating plan required by section 7062(a) of the act, the Secretary of State shall consult with the Committees on Appropriations on current staffing levels, including pro- jected staffing levels for mid- level Foreign Service officers and major changes from the prior fiscal year. • The agreement recog- nizes that USAID lacks suffi- cient personnel to adequately respond to many urgent and compelling needs around the world. Funds are included above prior-year levels to support an increase for new Foreign Service and Civil Service positions. Finally, supplemental fund- ing of $6.9 billion for the pur- pose of the Ukraine response in International Affairs Budget accounts was included, along- side the base omnibus fund- ing. Unfortunately, another $5 billion in supplemental COVID- 19 response funding for State and USAID was removed from the final FY22 appropriations package. The funding for position increases at State and USAID, significant increases for salaries and expenses at the smaller foreign affairs agen- cies and dedicated funding for both consular operations and DEIA initiatives were all priorities that AFSA advo- cated on Capitol Hill. We were pleased to see them fulfilled in the final FY22 appropria- tions package. However, AFSA was disap- pointed that the double-digit percentage increase for the IAB proposed by Congress and in the president’s budget request was not enacted in this spending package. We will continue to advocate increases to the IAB that meet the current needs of foreign affairs agencies and U.S. foreign policy initiatives on the global stage. n The package also included $9.5 million to support the Office of Diversity and Inclusion at the State Department.