Giving Compass' Take:

• In spite of the Trump administrations call for cuts, Congress voted to keep, and in some cases increase, the majority of U.S. aid programs. Several health programs received additional funding over 2017 levels. 

• How does this budget reflect the level values of Congress and, by extension, the American people? What opportunities exist for private philanthropy to fill in the gaps left by the new budget?

• Find out what else to watch for in U.S. foreign aid in 2018

Congress released a budget on March 21st that largely maintained U.S. foreign aid funding at fiscal year 2017 levels, and once again rejected the steep cuts proposed by the Trump administration.

The bill provides $54 billion in funding for state and foreign operations, which is $3.4 billion, or about 6 percent, below the fiscal year 2017 levels. The cuts come in part from a reduction in U.S. spending on United Nations international peacekeeping missions, and because there were supplemental funds provided last year to scale counter-ISIS operations. The Trump administration had proposed roughly 33 percent cuts to foreign aid funding in its fiscal year 2019 request released last month.

U.S. Agency for International Development operations funding is $1.6 billion for fiscal year 2018, down $24 million from fiscal year 2017 levels. And while bilateral assistance is down about $900 million, many development and global health budgets held steady, or even saw slight increases.

Congress maintained funding levels for most global health programs, including a total of $6 billion to combat HIV/AIDS, which includes funding for the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, the U.S. contribution to the Global Fund, and USAID’s programs.

Read the full article on Congress rejecting steep cuts to foreign assistance by Adva Saldinger at Devex International Development