The President’s FY 2021 Budget requests nearly $41 billion for the State Department and U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), enabling both agencies to protect U.S. citizens, increase American prosperity, and advance the development of democratic societies.
As competition from rising powers increases, the Budget seeks to bolster support for the Indo-Pacific Strategy; counter Chinese, Russian, and Iranian malign influence; protect human rights and religious freedom; secure U.S. borders; and help America’s allies become stronger national security and economic partners. This Budget also seeks to ensure that the Department is well positioned to facilitate legitimate travel across our borders, while protecting U.S. government personnel, facilities and data assets worldwide. With these resources, the State Department and USAID will invest in new capabilities to defend American interests, and advocate for the strategic, efficient use of resources to provide better results for the American people. The President’s FY 2021 Budget:
Equips the United States to Win the Great Power Competition
- Counters Chinese Malign Influence and Champions Security, Democracy, and Economic Growth for a Free and Open Indo-Pacific: Provides $1.5 billion in foreign assistance and $596 million in diplomatic engagement to support the U.S. Indo-Pacific Strategy to enable countries to assess the full costs of Chinese loans; facilitate U.S. private sector investment; expand security cooperation in the region; promote a U.S. model of democratic, transparent, responsive and business-friendly governance; and engage foreign audiences to strengthen alliances.
- Counters Russian Malign Influence and Disinformation: Invests $763.8 million in foreign assistance and $24 million in dedicated funding to counter Russian disinformation and propaganda in Europe, Eurasia, and Central Asia.
- Counters Malign Iranian Influence: Maintains strong economic and military assistance by including $337.5 million for important partners in the Middle East to counter regional threats imposed by the regime.
- Informs Foreign Opinion and Engages Foreign Audiences: Furthers U.S. foreign policy goals by providing $523.8 million for Public Diplomacy (PD) programs to inform foreign opinion. PD programs assist in countering misinformation about the United States and its foreign policy and strengthen relationships between Americans and foreign publics. This includes $138 million for the Global Engagement Center, balanced against a $184.5 million reduction from other public diplomacy programs, particularly the Embassy-level small grant activities.
Supports Strategic Allies and Partners
- Provides Critical Support to Our Allies in the Middle East: Supports the 10-year Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the U.S. and Israel by providing $3.3 billion in Foreign Military Financing for Israel. The budget request also recognizes the critical U.S. strategic partnership with and support for Jordan by providing $1.3 billion in economic and security assistance.
- Supports Partners in the Western Hemisphere: Provides $205 million to advance the transition in Venezuela, including the rebuilding of democratic institutions, and addresses urgent health and agriculture needs. Supports other partners in the region including $412.9 million for Colombia to advance development and private sector engagement, support drug eradication and interdictions, and enhance security. Provides $63.8 million for Mexico to deter irregular migrant flows to the United States, stem illicit trafficking, combat transnational criminal organizations, strengthen rule of law, and more.
Enhances the U.S. Commitment to Long-Term Development
- Builds Resilient Partners: Provides $506.1 million for food security programs to address the root causes of recurrent food crises and reduce future humanitarian funding needs.
- Finances Self-Reliance: Invests $100 million to strengthen countries’ capacities to finance their own development in an accountable, transparent, and effective manner.
- Supports Persecuted Religious and Ethnic Minorities and Advances Religious Freedom: Maintains $150 million to support persecuted religious and ethnic minorities and advance religious freedom globally, including recovering from the devastation caused by ISIS, al Qa’ida, and other terrorist organizations in the Middle East.
- Reinforces Global Women’s Economic Empowerment: Provides $200 million to advance the Women’s Global Development and Prosperity (WGD-P) Fund, empowering women to participate fully in the formal economy in partner nations around the world.
- Promotes American Values: Supports human rights and democracy activists around the globe to empower reform-minded governments, people and civil society.
Strengthens Continued U.S. Moral and Multilateral Leadership:
- Engagement with International Organizations: Promotes U.S. leadership, burden-sharing and institutional accountability in international organizations. This budget fully funds the organizations that are critical to our national security including those that limit the spread of nuclear weapons, combat violent extremism and forge solutions to global threats of armed conflict, hunger, poverty and disease. The budget proposes that the U.S. rejoin the UN World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) to exert U.S. influence and leadership at the organization and engage on UNWTO initiatives that align with U.S. interests.
- Addresses Global Health Challenges while Increasing Burden Sharing: Provides $6 billion to support U.S. leadership in advancing global health, including through the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR); the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria; the President’s Malaria Initiative; and global health security activities while simultaneously supporting efforts to help partner nations build their own capacity. The budget reflects significant progress in HIV/AIDS control, with up to 13 countries expected to reach epidemic control by the end of FY 2020. It emphasizes burden sharing with other donors, including through $657.6 million for the Global Fund’s sixth replenishment cycle – up to $3.3 billion over three years – and $290 million for Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, part of a four-year $1.2 billion pledge to prevent child and maternal deaths.
- Supports Robust and Efficient Humanitarian Response: Requests $6 billion for overseas humanitarian assistance in the new, flexible consolidated International Humanitarian Assistance account to maintain the United States’ global humanitarian leadership. The budget request also advances the fundamental reforms needed and supported by several independent analyses to optimize our overseas humanitarian assistance, including achieving seamless response capability to allow us to better meet evolving humanitarian needs, increasing global relief burden-sharing, and extracting optimal performance and accountability from UN organizations and other implementers. While the FY 2021 Budget is below FY 2020 Enacted levels, when combined with carryover, the average funding level for overseas humanitarian assistance in 2020 and 2021 will total nearly $9 billion annually. This average would allow the second highest annual U.S. humanitarian assistance programming ever in each of 2020 and 2021, retaining the U.S.’s position as the world’s largest single donor.
Advances U.S. National Security and Economic Interests:
- Supports Programs that Enhance U.S. Border Security: Provides $1.4 billion in the Western Hemisphere to defend vital U.S. national security interests by combatting trafficking and enhancing border security. In addition, $4 billion in fee-funded consular programs will secure our borders through enhancing visa vetting, preventing fraud, improving visa processes, and enabling international business by facilitating legitimate foreign travel to and from the United States.
- Protects Americans from Transnational Crime and Narcotics Trafficking: Provides $1 billion in the International Narcotics Control and Law Enforcement account to reduce narcotics trafficking and cultivation, help partners fight crime, reduce human trafficking and protect victims, and further U.S. interests around the world by promoting civilian security and the rule of law, including through the implementation of the Women, Peace, and Security Act.
- Prioritizes Programs that Counter Terrorism and Nuclear Proliferation: Leads international efforts with $753.6 million to combat the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, reinforce counterterrorism efforts, and support demining and other weapons destruction. This includes programming aimed at preventing Iran and other states and terrorist actors from acquiring weapons of mass destruction.
- Strengthens Bilateral Security Relationships: Provides $5.6 billion in Foreign Military Financing grant assistance, along with a complementary authority to offer FMF loans to NATO and major non-NATO Allies, to make U.S. defense equipment a more competitive and more affordable option. This expanded toolkit increases opportunities for allies and partners to build their militaries around U.S. innovation and quality.
- Leverages the new U.S. International Development Finance Corporation (DFC): Provides $50 million in transfers to the DFC to engage the private sector in order to maximize U.S. assistance as a tool for achieving foreign policy goals. This investment will encourage private sector financing for allies and partners to grow their economies; engage the private sector in developing nations to advance U.S. national-security interests; support U.S. companies, jobs, and exports; and advance development outcomes.
- Improves Investment Opportunities, including for U.S. Businesses: Provides $75 million for Prosper Africa to increase two-way trade and investment between the U.S. and African partners, advancing mutual prosperity and building on the State Department and USAID’s focus on private sector engagement. The request also includes $77 million for Power Africa to facilitate private investment in power generation and create new opportunities for economic partnerships.
- Advances security interests and fosters peace and prosperity at home: Provides $1 billion in appropriated funds and $3.9 billion in consular revenues to promote U.S. economic interests, increase intelligence outreach, strengthen U.S. leadership in combatting human trafficking, and enhance the Department’s communications and crisis management capabilities with regard to global events. The budget also requests a new authority to enhance consular revenue stability, ensuring ongoing financial support for the personnel and technology underpinning the consular services on which the American public relies.
Secures our Embassies and Infrastructure:
- $5.8 billion, of which $5.4 billion is to secure our people, facilities and data assets worldwide. The remaining $400 million is to invest in maintaining domestic infrastructure and operations. This includes:
- $3.7 billion for Diplomatic Security to invest $54 million in high definition secure video systems (HDSVS), and $56 million for 110 new Diplomatic Security agents, $74 million in savings related to the continued suspension of operations at Consulate Basrah, Iraq, and $109 million in cost savings related to the consolidation of locations in Afghanistan.
- $1.7 billion to provide secure, safe, and functional facilities worldwide. This includes $18 million for HST renovation. This level also sustains the Capital Security Cost Sharing (CSCS) program at the $2.2 billion level and supports capital construction projects in Adana, Turkey; Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
- $17.1 million for domestic facilities operations, capital maintenance repair and recapitalization.
Strengthens Talent and Management Capabilities:
- $1.1 billion worth of investments in the State Department’s global workforce, including staffing, training and leveraging strategic data assets. This includes funding for the Administration’s proposed Federal pay raise, and expanding the Department’s Ethos training.
State Information Technology Core
- $1.1 billion targeted for the Department’s Information Technology modernization and cybersecurity, including consular architecture and infrastructure enhancements, deploying a new Integrated Personnel Management System, and expanding the Cybersecurity Skills Incentive Program, accelerating the government-wide transition from paper to electronic records, and continuing upgrades to consular systems technology.