Senate Appropriators Finish State Dept. Bill; House Begins Discussions
At the end of June, the Senate Appropriations Committee met to mark up the FY17 State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs bill. This bill contains funding for cultural exchange programs in the Office of Citizen Exchanges. The Office is within the State Dept.’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA).
The committee recommended $107.69 million for the Office of Citizen Exchanges, an increase of $5.69 million over FY16. The overall recommendation for ECA is $627.8 million, a $36.89 million increase over FY16. The next step for this bill is consideration by the full Senate.
On July 6, the House Appropriations Subcommittee marked up its version of the bill. A draft released before the markup showed a recommendation of $112 million for the Office of Citizen Exchanges. This would be $4.31 million more than recommended by Senate appropriators and $10 million more than FY16. The draft also showed an overall recommendation of $602.79 million for ECA, which would be $11.89 million over FY16. The next step for this bill is consideration by the full House Appropriations Committee.
The amounts reported for the Office of Citizen Exchanges represent the total funding for a variety of exchange programs, including arts, sports, and youth programs. Federal budgets do not indicate totals for each individual program. PAA and arts advocates are asking for at least $110 million for the Office of Citizen exchanges in FY17.