Statement on Funding for Burma in the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2023
December 29, 2022
Washington, DC — This evening, President Biden signed the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2023 (H.R. 2617). The $1.7 trillion funding for H.R. 2617 includes $59.7 billion appropriated under State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs. Of the $59.7 billion, section 7403, pages 594-595, of the Act says “the funds appropriated by this Act, not less than $136,127,000 shall be made available for assistance for Burma”. The fiscal year 2023 funding for Burma is similar of the fiscal year 2022 (H.R. 2471).
The Senate passed the FY23 Omnibus Package on December 22, 2022. The following day on December 23, 2022, the House passed their Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2023. The bill was signed into law by President Biden on December 29, 2022.
The Chin Association of Maryland, Inc (CAM), issues the following statement.
- CAM strongly welcomes assistance of “not less than $136,127,000” for Burma in the fiscal year 2023. It could be interpreted that the minimum funding is $136,127,000 or it would be more. CAM has been advocating for an appropriation for Burma of not less than $136,127,000 for fiscal year 2023 and to include language in the provisions referencing federalism, democracy, and accountability. (see CAM’s recommendations).
- The funding is encouraging. It supports “the administrative operations and programs of entities–to establish an inclusive and representative democracy in Burma and a federal union.” (Sec. 7403, pages 1479 -1481). CAM believes that the entities refer to the National Unity Government (NUG), the National Unity Consultative Council (NUCC), the Committee Representing Pyidaungsu Hluttaw (CRPH), the Ethnic Armed Organizations, the Civil Disobedience Movement, and others described at the Burma Act of 2022 (NDAA-H.R. 7776).
- H.R. 2617 is critical. It provides support for humanitarian assistance, investigation and documentation of human rights abuses by the Burmese military junta.
- The Act restricts that the funding from the Act should not support the State Administration Council and it should not be used for international security assistance.