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The Week That Was: April 27-May 1 May 1, 2009

Posted by Stephen Abott in Analysis, News.
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In this new weekly item, Budget Insight will briefly outline the week’s blog posts and major news.

This week, BFAD highlighted items about DOD’s role in combating the swine flu outbreak and security assistance. The Department of Defense released its Terms of Reference (TOR) for the forthcoming Quadrennial Defense Review (QDR), a document that excluded mention of the Pentagon’s interaction with State or USAID. The FY2010 budget resolution passed Congress, it included a 0.6% increase for total DOD funding (base and supplemental) over FY2009, and was in line with Obama’s request; the international affairs 150 budget request was cut by $2.8 billion, leading to an increase of only 2% over FY2009. Defense acquisition reform recommendations and legislation worked its way through Washington. The full HASC held a hearing on the House’s recent legislation on the topic, while the Defense Science Board released the report: “Creating a DOD Strategic Acquisition Platform“.

Congressman Berman, Chair of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, kicked off a busy year dealing with foreign affairs issues, introducing legislation this week calling on the White House to, “develop and implement, on an interagency basis, a comprehensive national strategy to further the Unite States foreign policy objective of reducing poverty and contributing to broad-based economic growth in developing countries, including responding to humanitarian crises. This call is an important signal to the administration that Congress is expecting a reshaping of foreign assistance strategy this year. Because it does not propose any institutional changes for the foreign assistance agencies, it leaves the door open to a careful review of US foreign assistance structures. It will be important to initiate a dialogue between the new administration and the Congress about how to shape foreign assistance strategies, programs, and agencies.

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