Biden's 'skinny budget' will preview support for US foreign assistance levels

US President Joe Biden is expected to release his 'skinny budget' (a preview of Biden's first budget request) soon, which will provide at least top-line funding levels for US foreign assistance. The full budget proposal is expected later this spring.

Development advocates are closely watching the amount of funding for the International Affairs Budget, otherwise known as the '150 account'. One analysis done by the United States Global Leadership Council showed that in order to meet the needs of the COVID-19 pandemic and other development programs, an additional US$14.0 billion above fiscal year (FY) 2021 levels (excluding emergency funding) would be needed. That would put the FY 2022 level at US$71.6 billion for the 150 account. 

Although US global development programs generally have bipartisan support in Congress, it is not clear that a significant jump in funding for US foreign assistance will pass. Congress ultimately makes the decision as to whether to follow the president's budget request. Former US President Donald Trump routinely proposed significant cuts to US assistance, but Congress largely ignored them, keeping funding essentially level. 

News article - Devex