Rep. Cisneros Secures Humanitarian, State, and Foreign Aid Priorities in House-Passed Appropriations Package

June 28, 2019
Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. Congressman Gilbert R. Cisneros, Jr. (CA-39) worked to secure humanitarian and foreign aid in H.R. 2740, the Fiscal Year 2020 Appropriations package. Rep. Cisneros, along with colleagues from both sides of the aisle, allocated over $14 billion to bolster diplomacy through a variety of humanitarian assistance programs including USAID and Migration and Refugee Assistance (MRA).

“I am proud that the House was able to come together in a bipartisan manner to ensure the United States’ global leadership status remains intact,” said Rep. Cisneros. “Programs such as the Migration and Refugee Assistance program, the Green Climate Fund, and the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, bolster our diplomatic relations and advance our own national security interests. It is our responsibility as the leader of the free world to help promote global peace and prosperity through aiding emerging democracies.”

Rep. Cisneros is a strong advocate for funding of diplomacy programs such as MRA and USAID as he believes they are a critical component of our national security objectives. In March, he discussed the importance of international affairs budgets with witnesses for a hearing on National Security Challenges and US Military Activities in the Greater Middle East and Africa.  In May, he raised the importance of development and diplomacy programs to improve conditions in Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador as a critical component to addressing the root causes of migration and preventing the humanitarian crisis at the border.

Summaries of key provisions supported by Rep. Cisneros are below:

State and Foreign Operations

  • Rep. Cisneros signed a letter in support of the Green Climate Fund.  The bill removes the prohibition on the Green Climate Fund from the fiscal year 2019 enacted bill and replaces it with permissive authority. It also prohibits the use of funds to withdraw from the Paris Agreement.
  • Rep. Cisneros signed a bipartisan letter led by Rep. Lee and Rep. Wagner in support of robust funding for President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) and the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (Global Fund).  The bill provides $5.93 billion for PEPFAR, including $1.56 billion for the Global Fund - $210 million above the fiscal year 2019 enacted level.
  • Rep. Cisneros signed a bipartisan letter led by Rep. Vargas in support of strong funding for appropriations to support refugees.  The bill provides $7.97 billion for humanitarian assistance under the accounts Migration & Refugee Assistance (MRA), U.S. Emergency Refugee & Migration Assistance (ERMA), and International Disaster Assistance (IDA) - $150 million above the fiscal year 2019 enacted level and $1.63 billion above the President’s budget request.
  • Rep. Cisneros has been a tireless advocate for funding for the Department of State and USAID funding - highlighting its importance to national security during hearings before the House Armed Services Committee and believes it is a critical component of our national security objectives.  The bill contains $1.690 billion for USAID and the USAID Office of Inspector General – an increase of $174.2 million from the fiscal year 2019 enacted level. The legislation also includes oversight measures to ensure the proper management of development programs and the appropriate use of United States funds.
  • The bill includes the Global HER Act, which Rep. Cisneros is a strong supporter and cosponsor of, to permanently repeal the Global Gag Rule, reinstated by President Trump in January 2017.