Budget Stalemate Imperils International Family Planning
House passage of an omnibus appropriation bill for the federal government raised fears in March that the current level of funding for international family planning and reproductive health programs could be slashed. Presently, USAID is operating under a ‘continuing resolution’ that keeps funding for family planning at the FY2010 level of $648 million, but the House-passed appropriations bill trims that by more $200 million. While the U.S. Senate rejected the House-passed budget measure, House and Senate conferees have yet to reach an agreement. If the impasse is not broken, the government could effectively shut down by April 8 until an agreement is reached. Once agreement is reached for this year’s funding, Congress will start working on appropriation bills for the fiscal year (FY2012) that begins on October 1, 2011.