This Week in Washington, D.C.
As we reported last week, the full attention of Congress this week has been on the looming government shutdown set to occur next Tuesday, October 1. Earlier this week the House passed a stop-gap spending bill that would keep the government open and operating for 45 days and that would defund the President’s healthcare law for FY14. Today, the Senate passed the House version, stripping the defunding language, thus setting up a showdown between the two chambers. Given the short time frame, Congress will be working over the weekend, and if history is any lesson a resolution (or a resolution to seek resolution) would be expected at the last minute.
For Armenia, this means the appropriations for FY14 could be slightly below last year, as President Obama and Congress have called for across the board reductions in U.S. foreign aid. As previously reported, the Assembly worked diligently with our friends on the Congressional Armenian Caucus and in the Senate over the summer to ensure report language recommended “assistance for victims of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict in amounts consistent with prior years, and for ongoing needs related to the conflict,” which have been around $10 million (FY2012, FY2013).
Over the weekend and throughout the budgetary process, the Assembly will continue to work with Congress and ensure the best possible outcome for Armenia and Artsakh.
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