FY2012 Appropriations Roundup

John Fawcett, Global Legislative Director and Meredith Dodson, Director of U.S. Poverty Campaigns
January 05, 2012

While we're only a few days into the new year, the fiscal year in its fourth month, and just before the holidays Congress finally completed its work on the FY 2012 budget.

How did global health and poverty-focused aid fare in the final budget deal? Results were mixed, but for the most part Congress avoided severe cuts and even increased support for some programs.

Overall, global health funding did relatively well, with modest increases for many programs. The Global Fund was held flat at $1.05 billion for FY 2012. While this does not put us on track to meet our three-year, $4 billion pledge to the Fund, it avoids the more devastating $300 million cut initially proposed by the House. Bilateral USAID tuberculosis programs were funded $236 million, an $11 million increase over the previous year. This is another high-water mark for TB funding, which has increased over 150% in the last five years.

Contributions to GAVI also got a boost, as Congress provided $100 million – a $10 million increase – as the first installment of the U.S. three-year, $450 million pledge to roll out new vaccines.

Appropriations for Education for All programs took a hit in FY2012 – from $950 million last year to $800 million this year. However, for the first time ever the bill includes language specifically authorizing a U.S. contribution to the multilateral Global Partnership for Education. This will allow the U.S. to make an initial $20 million contribution this year and set the table for increased multilateral support in the future.

Microfinance programs were spared cuts, but flat-funded at $265 million for FY 2012. With microfinance legislation pending in both the House and Senate, and Professor Muhammad Yunus scheduled to receive the Congressional Gold Medal, 2012 will bring many opportunities to build support for these programs.

Our domestic (U.S. poverty) priorities also did well in a tough budget environment. Because of the hard work of RESULTS volunteers and advocates across the country, these programs will see increases in funding to that will help maintain existing service levels. Head Start and Early Head Start will get a $409 million increase and the Child Care Development Block Grant (CCDBG) will see a $55 million increase in FY 2012. This is more than what the Senate proposed back in September ($350 million increase for Head Start, no increase for CCDBG).

Just as the FY 2012 cycle is wrapping up, work on FY 2013 will begin soon when the President submits his budget request to Congress in about a month. You can keep track of the process throughout the year on our global appropriations resource page and our U.S. poverty campaign summary page.