Division E – Department of State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs Appropriations Act, 2019

Division E – Department of State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs Appropriations Act, 2019

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Excerpt:
In implementing this bill, Federal departments, agencies, commissions, and other entities are directed to comply with the directives, reporting requirements, and instructions contained in H. Rept. 115-829 (House report) accompanying H.R. 6385 (House bill) and S. Rept. 115-282 (Senate report) accompanying S. 3108 (Senate bill) as though stated in this explanatory statement, unless specifically directed to the contrary. …
Global Engagement Center.-The bill includes up to $55,400,000 for the Global Engagement Center (GEC),including up to $20,000,000 to counter state propaganda and disinformation. The operating plan required by section 7070(a) of the Act shall include the staffing requirements and on-board staffing levels of the GEC, including the use of detailees, personal service contracts, and direct hires, as well as their foreign language proficiency. The Secretary of State shall consult with the Committees on Appropriations on the intended use of ..


docs.house.gov

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Excerpt:
In implementing this bill, Federal departments, agencies, commissions, and other entities are directed to comply with the directives, reporting requirements, and instructions contained in H. Rept. 115-829 (House report) accompanying H.R. 6385 (House bill) and S. Rept. 115-282 (Senate report) accompanying S. 3108 (Senate bill) as though stated in this explanatory statement, unless specifically directed to the contrary. …
Global Engagement Center.-The bill includes up to $55,400,000 for the Global Engagement Center (GEC),including up to $20,000,000 to counter state propaganda and disinformation. The operating plan required by section 7070(a) of the Act shall include the staffing requirements and on-board staffing levels of the GEC, including the use of detailees, personal service contracts, and direct hires, as well as their foreign language proficiency. The Secretary of State shall consult with the Committees on Appropriations on the intended use of any funds transferred or requested to be transferred to the GEC by the Department of Defense prior to submitting the notifications required by sections 7015(d)(2) and 7015(h)(2)(A) of the Act. …
Public Diplomacy. [JB emphasis]-The bill includes sufficient funds to support public diplomacy programs at not less than the fiscal year 2018 level. In addition, the Secretary of State shall include projected funding levels for public diplomacy in the operating plan required by section 7070(a) of the Act. …
EDUCATIONAL AND CULTURAL EXCHANGE PROGRAMS
The Act provides $700,946,000 for Educational and Cultural Exchange Programs, of which not less than $271,500,000 is for the Fulbright Program and $111,860,000 is for the Citizen Exchange Program. Funds under this heading are allocated according to the following table:
EDUCATIONAL AND CULTURAL EXCHANGES
[Budget authority in thousands of dollars]
Program/ Activity
Academic Programs
Fulbright Program
Global Academic Exchanges
Special Academic Exchanges
Benjamin Gilman International Scholarship Program
Subtotal
Professional and Cultural Exchanges
International Visitor Program
Citizen Exchange Program
Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange
Special Professional and Cultural Exchanges
Subtotal
Special Initiatives
Young Leaders Initiatives
Countering State Disinformation and Pressure
Subtotal
Program and Performance
Budget
Authority
271,500
63,461
22,875
[16,000]
357,836
104,000
111,860
[4,125]
5,600
221,460
31,250
12,000
43,250
8,400
Exchanges Support 70,000
Total 700,946
The Secretary of State shall include in the operating plan required by section 7070(a) of the Act the information listed under this heading in the House and Senate reports. Countering State Disinformation and Pressure.-The bill includes $12,000,000 under this heading to counter state-sponsored disinformation and hybrid threats, promote democracy, and support exchanges with countries facing state-sponsored disinformation and pressure campaigns, particularly in Europe and Eurasia. A portion of the funds shall be made available through a process whereby the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, Department of State (ECA), solicits proposals from posts located in affected countries.
Citizen Exchange Program.-Funds made available for the Citizen Exchange Program are intended for the purposes described under this heading in the House report.
Fulbright Program.-The bill includes additional funds under this heading for the Fulbright Program for Afghanistan, Egypt, and Pakistan, which in previous fiscal years were appropriated under Economic Support Fund. The total Fulbright allocations for such countries for fiscal year 2019 shall not be less than the total amounts appropriated under this heading and under Economic Support Fund in prior fiscal years for such purposes.
The bill also includes funding for Fulbright initiatives in Korea, the Baltic Sea region, and Eastern Europe at not less than the amounts allocated in, and in a manner consistent with, fiscal year 2018.
Special Academic and Professional and Cultural Exchanges.-The bill includes funds to continue the Special Academic Exchanges and Special Professional and Cultural Exchanges described in the House and Senate reports, including the Benjamin Gilman International Scholarship Program and the Tibetan exchanges and fellowships.
Personnel.-The bill includes $70,000,000 for Exchanges Support for ECA. Funds made available above the prior fiscal year level are for the purpose of hiring to the authorized personnel level contained in the May 22, 2018 Department of State report to Congress. The operating plan required by section 7070(a) of the Act shall include details on how such levels will be achieved.
Vietnam Education Foundation Act.-The Act includes $5,000,000 under this heading and $5,000,000 under Development Assistance for grants authorized by section 211 of the Vietnam Education Foundation Act of 2000, as amended.
Young Leaders Initiatives.-The bill includes an additional $1,500,000 for the Young African Leaders Initiative and an additional $1,000,000 for the Young Leaders of the Americas Initiative above the prior fiscal year level. …
PAYMENT TO THE AMERICAN INSTITUTE IN TAIWAN
The Act provides $31,963,000 for Payment to the American Institute in Taiwan. If consular fees collected by the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) are not sufficient to cover the full cost of AIT' s consular operations, the Secretary of State shall make available funds from the Consular and Border Security Program (CBSP) in amounts sufficient to cover the difference between such consular fees and the cost of consular operations. The operating plan submitted for AIT pursuant to section 7070(a) of the Act shall include the anticipated costs of
AIT consular operations, an estimate of consular fees anticipated to be collected by AIT, and any anticipated transfers from the CBSP.
DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA
The Act provides $743,000 for International Center, Washington, District of Columbia. …
RELATED AGENCY
BROADCASTING BOARD OF GOVERNORSINTERNATIONAL BROADCASTING OPERATIONS
The Act provides $798,196,000 for International Broadcasting Operations.
37,290
[7,000]
1,750
3,685
4,395
3,531
50,651
Section 7034(r)(7) of the Act clarifies the name change of the "Broadcasting Board of Governors" (BBG) to the "United States Agency for Global Media" (USAGM). Of the funds made available under this heading, up to $34,508,000 may remain available until expended for satellite transmissions and Internet freedom programs, of which not less than $13,800,000 is for Internet freedom and circumvention programs. In addition, $1,200,000 is included within funds provided for Radio Free Asia (RF A) for the personnel costs associated
with Internet freedom activities, bringing the total provided for such programs to not less than $15,000,000. The USAGM shall include amounts planned for Internet freedom in fiscal year 2019 as part of the operating plan required by section 7070(a) of the Act and to describe the planned activities in the Internet freedom spend plan required by section 7065(c) of the Act.
East Asia and the Pacijic [sic] .-The bill supports the Tibetan language services of the Voice of America (VOA) and RF A.
Latin America.-The bill includes $6,000,000 for the VOA Latin America Division for the purposes specified under this heading in the House report. The USAGM shall submit the report required under this heading in the House report to the Committees on Appropriations in the manner described.
Radio Free Asia.-The bill includes $44,223,000 for RF A. Within such amount, additional funds are to be made available to increase the capacity for translation and social media by the Uyghur service of RF A to address the crisis in Xinjiang, China. USAGM shall consult with the Committees on Appropriations on plans to increase this capacity.
Funds under this heading are allocated according to the following table:
INTERNATIONAL BROADCASTING OPERATIONS
[Budget authority in thousands of dollars]
Entities/Grantees
Federal Entities
International Broadcasting Bureau (IBB)
IBB Operations
Office of Technology, Services, and Innovation
Voice of America
Office of Cuba Broadcasting
Subtotal
Independent Grantee Organizations
Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty
Radio Free Asia
Middle East Broadcasting Networks
Subtotal
Total
Internet Freedom
BROADCASTING CAPITAL IMPROVEMENTS
The Act provides $9,700,000 for Broadcasting Capital Improvements.
RELATED PROGRAMS
THE ASIA FOUNDATION
Budget
Authority
58,576
[13,800}
181,843
250,060
29,144
519,623
124,038
44,223
110,312
278,573
798,196
The Act provides $17,000,000 for The Asia Foundation. Such funds shall be apportioned and obligated to the Foundation not later than 60 days after enactment of the Act.
UNITED STATES INSTITUTE OF PEACE
The Act provides $38,634,000 for United States Institute of Peace.
An additional $750,000 above the fiscal year 2018 level is included in the bill to facilitate the Syria Study Group authorized in division G of Public Law 115-254 to review and make recommendations on a diplomatic and military strategy toward Syria. The President of the United States Institute of Peace shall consult with the appropriate congressional committees on its plans to facilitate such Group.
CENTER FOR MIDDLE EASTERN-WESTERN DIALOGUE TRUST FUND
The Act provides $185,000 from interest and earnings from the Center for Middle Eastern-Western Dialogue Trust Fund.
EISENHOWER EXCHANGE FELLOWSHIP PROGRAM
The Act provides $190,000 from interest and earnings from the Eisenhower Exchange Fellowship Program Trust Fund.
ISRAELI ARAB SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAM
The Act provides $68,000 from interest and earnings from the Israeli Arab Scholarship Endowment Fund.
EAST-WEST CENTER
The Act provides $16,700,000 for East-West Center. Such funds shall be apportioned and obligated to the Center not later than 60 days after enactment of the Act.
NATIONAL ENDOWMENT FOR DEMOCRACY
The Act provides $180,000,000 for National Endowment for Democracy. Such funds shall be apportioned and obligated to the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) not later than 60 days after enactment of the Act. Of this amount, $117,500,000 shall be allocated in the traditional and customary manner, including for the core institutes. A total of $62,500,000 is provided for democracy programs, as well as for the next phase of the NED's mid- to long-term strategic approach and response to immediate and unanticipated challenges or opportunities for the promotion of democracy abroad. Of the funds provided above the fiscal year 2018 enacted level for such programs, $4,000,000 is for NED discretionary programs for Burma and $6,000,000 is for NED discretionary programs for North Korea.
Not later than 45 days after enactment of the Act, the NED President shall submit a report to the Committees on Appropriations on the proposed uses of funds appropriated under this heading in a manner similar to fiscal year 2018. The NED President should consult with such Committees in advance of any significant deviation from the plans outlined in such report.
Funds appropriated under this heading shall not be subject to prior approval by the Department of State or USAID or to administrative and management surcharges, and minimal expenses, if any, should be charged to general Department of State or USAID operating expenses. The NED shall not be precluded from competitively bidding on other grant solicitations. …
Counter Influence Programs.-The Secretary of State shall incorporate the counter influence strategy regarding the PRC required by section 7043( e)(3) of the Department of State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs Appropriations Act, 2014 (division K of Public Law 113-76) into the Indo-Pacific Strategy (IPS), and shall submit a report to the appropriate congressional committees describing in detail such incorporation, in classified form if necessary, including a summary of funding by fiscal year provided for such counter influence strategy.
Funds made available under title I of the Act shall be made available for public diplomacy programs to counter the influence of the PRC globally. …
Section 7047. Countering Russian Influence and Aggression (modified)
Countering Russian Influence Fund.-The Act provides not less than $275,000,000 for the Countering Russian Influence Fund, which is in addition to amounts made available for bilateral assistance for countries in Europe, Eurasia and Central Asia. Such funds are allocated according to the following table and subject to section 7019 of the Act:
COUNTERING RUSSIAN INFLUENCE FUND
[Budget authority in thousands of dollars]
Account
Assistance for Europe, Eurasia and Central Asia
International Narcotics Control and Law Enforcement
International Military Education and Training
Foreign Military Financing Program
Budget
Authority
75,000
62,500
5,000
132,500
In allocating funds for countries that are members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization or the European Union, the Secretary of State should consider the degree to which such countries may be vulnerable to influence by the Russian Federation and their economic and technical capability to effectively respond to aggression by the Russian Federation.
In lieu of the directive in the Senate report under this heading concerning Russia reporting requirements, the Secretary of State shall update the reports required by section 707l(b)(2) and (e) of the Department of State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs Appropriations Act, 2014 (division K of Public Law 113-76) not later than 45 days after enactment of the Act. …
Section 7055. Prohibition on Publicity or Propaganda (unchanged) …
Reconciliation Programs.-In lieu of the directives on reconciliation programs in the House and Senate reports, $30,000,000 is included for people-to-people reconciliation programs to be carried out in a manner consistent with long-standing congressional intent. Not later than 60 days after enactment of the Act, the US AID Administrator shall consult with the Committees on Appropriations on the proposed uses of such funds and the amounts to be made available for
such purposes. …
Section 7065. Global Internet Freedom (modified)
The Act provides not less than $60,500,000 for programs to promote Internet freedom globally. Funds for such activities appropriated in title III of the Act are allocated according to the following table and subject to section 7019 of the Act:
GLOBAL INTERNET FREEDOM
[Budget authority in thousands of dollars]
Account/Program
Economic Support Fund
Democracy Fund (Department of State)
Democracy Fund (USAID)
Assistance for Europe, Eurasia and Central Asia
Near East Regional Democracy
Budget
Authority
22,025
[I6,750}
14,000
3,500
5,975
In addition to funds made available in title III, the bill also includes $15,000,000 for Internet freedom under Broadcasting Board of Governors, including $13,800,000 for International Broadcasting Operations for programs and $1,200,000 for the associated personnel costs of RF A. …
Funds made available by the Act are provided in the amounts necessary for, and for the purposes of, maintaining the on-board Foreign Service and Civil Service staff levels of the Department of State and US AID at not less than the levels as of December 31, 2017. This assumes such levels reflect minimum necessary hiring, and the Secretary of State and US AID Administrator should work with the Committees on Appropriations to increase hiring above such levels, as appropriate. …
The bill assumes sufficient funding for introductory classes for the Department of State Foreign Service (A-1 00 classes) at the pre-fiscal year 2017 rate, and the Secretary of State shall continue such classes in such manner. The Secretary shall report to the appropriate congressional committees not later than 45 days after enactment of the Act on the schedule for the A-100 classes. …
Section 7075. John S. McCain Scholars Program (new) The bill includes $1,600,000 for three scholarship and fellowship programs in honor of
the late Senator John S. McCain for the purposes outlined in, and the amounts specified under, Educational and Cultural Exchange Programs in the Senate report. …
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