on the hill

House Appropriations Committee approves 2025 State Department funding bill

The bill restricts funding to the U.N., UNRWA and other international bodies, as well as boosts funding for the U.S. antisemitism envoy

Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Committee chairman Rep. Tom Cole (R-OK) listens during a meeting of the House Rules Committee to consider H.R. 3746 - Fiscal Responsibility Act of 2023 at the U.S. Capitol May 30, 2023, in Washington, D.C.

The House Appropriations Committee approved its draft of the 2025 State, Foreign Operations and Related programs bill on Wednesday by a 31-26 vote. The bill aims to force U.S. arms transfers to Israel to proceed, would provide aid funding to Israel and would eliminate funding to the U.N. general budget, U.N. Relief and Works Agency, International Court of Justice and International Criminal Court, in addition to a range of other provisions.

On top of other provisions previously reported by JI, the bill also includes a funding boost for the State Department’s Office of the Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Antisemitism, from $1.75 million to $2.5 million for 2025, and urges the State Department to add full-time staff to the office to ensure its “stability and continuity of operations.”

A bipartisan group of lawmakers had urged the committee to provide $3 million for the program and similar provisions for full-time staff.

“We are pleased to see an increase for the office of the Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Antisemitism with language stressing the importance of hiring additional full-time staff, as well as oversight to ensure implementation of the National Strategy to Counter Antisemitism,” Lauren Wolman, director of government relations at the Anti-Defamation League, said in a statement to JI. “With antisemitism around the world at historic levels, Congress must continue to prioritize support for our ally Israel, while addressing global antisemitism in all its manifestations, including the rising threat of the transnational white supremacist movement.”

The legislation also includes a provision barring the use of refugee funding to admit or resettle Palestinians from Gaza in the U.S.

During the Appropriations Committee meeting, lawmakers approved, by a voice vote, an amendment cutting all funding to the Maldives until the island nation reverses its policy barring Israeli citizens from the country.

The bill would appropriate $1.5 million for the special envoy for the Abraham Accords — a position that the administration has yet to fill, and the same amount for the special envoy for Holocaust issues. 

It would also provide $50 million for the Middle East Partnership for Peace program, $10 million for efforts to promote joint scientific collaboration in the Middle East and $4 million for joint U.S.-Israel development projects in third countries.

Language in the explanatory report accompanying the bill urges the administration to provide humanitarian aid for civilian victims of the ongoing Hamas and Hezbollah attacks on Israel. The bill would also provide a $1.5 million increase to a fund for refugee resettlement in Israel — originally implemented to help resettle Jewish refugees from the Soviet Union.

The bill would boost funding by an additional $4.5 million for oversight efforts over U.S. aid, particularly aid provided to Gaza. The report criticizes a recent U.N. vote granting the Palestinian Authority additional privileges.

It would further require the secretary of state to report to Congress on efforts to ensure that organizations receiving U.S. funding do not promote the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement, on implementation of the Israel Relations Normalization Act and on an Iraqi company tied to an Iranian-backed terrorist group.

The appropriations bill is unlikely to pass Congress in its current form, and the 2025 appropriations process may be delayed into next year, after the presidential inauguration and into the next congress.

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