The House of Representatives’ Appropriations Committee finished work on the 2021 State Department and Foreign Operations bill on July 9. In addition to offering some language very supportive of peace accord implementation, the narrative report accompanying the bill provides a table explaining how the House appropriators (or at least, their strong Democratic Party majority) would require that this money be spent.
The table above shows how the House would spend the 2021 aid money, and how it fits in with what the Trump White House requested, and what aid has looked like since 2016, the year before before the outgoing Obama administration’s “Peace Colombia” aid package went into effect.
If the House were to get its way, less than $200 million of the $458 million in 2021 U.S. aid to Colombia would go to the country’s police and military forces. However, the bill must still go through the Republican-majority Senate, whose bill may reflect somewhat more “drug war” priorities. A final bill is unlikely to pass both houses of Congress until after Election Day.
Sources for most of these numbers:
- 2016: the 2018 State Department Congressional Budget Justification for Foreign Operations
- 2017: page 1607 of the explanatory statement for the 2017 Omnibus Appropriation, and the 2019 CBJ for Foreign Operations
- 2018: page 1803 of the explanatory statement for the 2018 Omnibus Appropriation, and the 2020 CBJ for Foreign Operations
- 2019: page H908 of the explanatory statement for the 2019 Omnibus Appropriation, and the 2021 CBJ for Foreign Operations
- 2020: Page 53 of Division G of the explanatory statement for the 2020 Omnibus Appropriation
- 2021: The 2021 aid request to Congress from the White House
- 2021 House: The House Appropriations Committee’s July 9, 2020 narrative report
- Defense Department aid 2016-17: Congressional Research Service 2017.
- Defense Department aid 2018: Congressional Research Service 2019.
- 2020 transfer of aid from Central America: we’ve heard it from legislative staff, but the only document we can cite right now is coverage of an October 2019 announcement by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in Colombia’s El Tiempo.
Not reflected here is assistance to Colombia to manage flows of Venezuelan refugees.
July 9, 2020