US Congress de-funds International Fund for Ireland

Mick noted in December US-Ireland Alliance founder Trina Vargo’s comment that the International Fund for Ireland (IFI) was “on the chopping block” for the US Congress.  And in a follow-up post Trina Vargo added, for clarity

This is from the US Congress’ Joint Explanatory Statement accompanying Division F of the FY 10 Consolidated Appropriations Act:

“The conferees expect that the assistance provided in this Act will be the final United States contribution to the IFI.”

What about that is unclear? And that was written when the Democrats still controlled the House.

Via Newshound, the Irish Echo online reports

Hopes were dashed late last week when the House and Senate voted to kill all of the U.S. contribution to the International Fund for Ireland for the rest of 2011.

The House Republican leadership led the charge to get rid of the $17.5 million the IFI was to receive from Congress. Supporters of the IFI thought they had persuaded several U.S. senators to reinsert some funding into the short term Continuing Resolution.             Republicans prevailed however and the IFI’s budgetary commitment from the U.S. was shut down.

It is very difficult to restore funding for programs once Congress purposely zeroes out a recipient.

The IFI joined the ranks of a host of other discretionary funds including the Clean Technology Fund, the Strategic Climate Fund, and the Asian Development Fund that Congress consigned to the de-funded column.

Some Democratic senators are banding together to try and restore funding for several of the zeroed out recipients. Senator Daniel Inouye (D-Hawaii) is the chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee and is trying to formulate the long term spending cuts for the next Continuing Resolution necessary for the U.S. to keep the federal government operating.

Reports nevertheless indicate that it does not look good for restoration of the IFI funding for this year.

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  • The Word

    It’s sad to see this. But the reality is that since the financial crisis there’s become a need to pay off those Chinese.

    Those Republicans certainly leave no-one in doubt as to who is number one.

  • Nunoftheabove

    Word

    Yeah damn those nasty selfish ‘materialists’ who kicked in the lion’s share of the money in the first place – we’d have been much better off if they’d kept their nasty unwanted materialist dollars in their pockets and prayed for us instead – that would have helped much more, right ?

  • The Word

    “materialists”

    We have friends in the USA too. What about Teddy Kennedy, Tip O’Neil, Daniel Patrick Moynihan and the rest. Some people help out of the goodness of their hearts.

  • Nunoftheabove

    Word

    Help…in a ‘spiritual’ way or with hard earned materialist cash ?

  • andnowwhat

    Some of you forgot senator King

  • The Word

    Nun

    Cash tends to be material in nature, but attempting to classify all Americans as belonging to your materialist cult just because they work for cash is a bit silly.

    There are those who have noble virtues who do well in life, and contribute to helping to make the world better. In doing so, they’re not attempting to ensure that that god Money is honoured. Some people are genuine. Others have phoney values, as you know.

  • Pete Baker

    Wordy

    Can you try to keep to the actual topic?

    Rather than derailing every post you comment on…

  • Cynic2

    Yankee imperialists not giving usuns their money

    I feel so oppressed.

    I blame Thatcher.

  • between the bridges

    those Yankee imperialist materialists cult member’s who cut our ex combatant social community repressive workers funding. should take a leaf out of word up’s book, which he is currently reading by ear wax candle in his hemp lined mud hut, after returning his borrowed laptop, which he used at a local hot spot before, returning on his donkey, after paying his tithe unmaterialsicly.

  • granni trixie

    I can see that, from a USA perspective,dollars to NI are unjustified. However, it is interesting to ask where is Peter King to argue our case – now that he is putting his energeis currently into anti muslim strategies on grounds of 7/11. He simply does not get it that in Ni WE had to cope with intimidation etc when he was supporting SF and their strategies.

  • Sean Og

    The IFI has run it’s course and the writing has been on the wall for some time.

    Their best days were in the 1990s and early 2000s when they supported some very good social economy projects that helped improve economic conditions and community relations in deprieved areas.

    For the past few years they have been wandering about looking for a role and it’s no surprise that the funding from US has been chopped.

  • Mainland Ulsterman

    We really can’t complain, we’ve had so much help.

    Plus as andnowwhat says, having less to do with the Senator Kings of this world will be no bad thing. Most US politicians’ approach to Northern Ireland has been characterised by ignorance of basic information about the Troubles, hypocrisy over terrorism and the cynical use of Northern Ireland to win the votes of half-wits back home through poorly briefed, naive and show-boating “fact finding missions.”

    George Mitchell was a big exception to that but there have been rather more Kings than Mitchells over the years. The less US influence the better for all of us.

  • Greenflag

    ‘having less to do with the Senator Kings of this world will be no bad thing.’

    Especially if you are a Muslim . NY Rep King states that the IRA never attacked the USA and were not a threat to the USA . He’s accused of being another ‘witchhunter’ in the McCarthyism tradition by liberal groups . Here’s a link .

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/03/08/peter-king-defends-past-s_n_833036.html

    The USA is involved in 2 wars with maybe a third and fourth on the way . They have 28 million people unemployed with virtually no social welfare safety net .There are tent cities housing thousands of homeless many formerly working or middle class americans outside major cities . There are 50 million people without health insurance and the BBC ran a report recently on the somewhat starling fact that the average Brit is now ‘healthier’ than the average American due mainly to the absence of ‘free market ‘ forces within the NHS .In order to keep paying for the 3 trillion dollar credit card wars in Afghanistan and Iraq the US via State governments is reducing the number of schoolteachers and cutting social expenditure wherever it can . Meanwhile State Governments continue to throw huge tax saving incentives at large American and foreign corporations ‘begging ‘ them to invest in their low cost -union free – and minimum wage states to create jobs ??

    Frankly the USA needs to help itself and sort out it’s own self generated fiscal mess before exporting anymore of it around the world 🙁

  • Newton and Deloitte mission failure? I wonder how much the trip and the report cost. Was Gerry Kelly not available?

    “The First Minister and deputy First Minister will also be raising the issue with some of the US’s most senior politicians during St Patrick’s week.”

    Is it a case of carry on regardless?

  • MarbellaBoy

    Frankly, I think we have, after 16 years, had more than our fair share of the the US taxpayers money. They gave us support when we needed it and now that things are tight with them we should say ‘Thank you very much, and good luck’.

    Is it not about time we stood on our own feet?

  • MarbellaBoy

    And also, maybe we should be asking ourselves how we can repay the favour.

    Shannon stopover anyone?