Washington briefing: Foreign aid bill endorsed by House Appropriations Committee

by Emil Sanamyan

Published: Friday June 26, 2009

Rep. Dave Obey (D.-Wis.), who chairs the House Committee on Appropriations.

Washington - Legislation that sets out foreign-aid allocations and was passed in the House Foreign Operations Subcommittee on June 17 was approved by the full House Appropriations Committee on June 23.

The Fiscal Year 2010 allocations approved last week included $48 million in aid to Armenia, $10 million to Nagorno-Karabakh, as well as $3.45 million each in military aid to Armenia and Azerbaijan.

Additionally, according to the text of the legislation made available by the Armenian Assembly, it "directs that the Department of State consult with the Committees on Appropriations before exercising [Section 907] waiver for fiscal year 2010 to ensure that all conditions under the waiver provision are being fully met."

Section 907 has restricted U.S. assistance to Azerbaijan since 1993, but after September 11, 2001, the president received conditional authority to waive the measure.

The committee language also noted that "Section 907 is still in effect, pending a settlement of the ongoing dispute between Armenia and Azerbaijan over the status of Nagorno-Karabakh."

After adoption in the full House of Representatives, the measure would need to be reconciled with the Senate version, which is yet to be produced. [See the Armenian Reporter's editorial for this week.]

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