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The US House of Representatives is delaying the approval of the budget proposal that will help .

The US House of Representatives is delaying the approval of the budget proposal that will help Myanmar.

There is controversy among US lawmakers in determining the US government's budget for next year, and the two powerful parties have announced that a government shutdown will begin on October 1 if there is no agreement between the lawmakers.

Due to the possible suspension of government machinery, there are delays in deciding the amount of spending that the US government will provide for Myanmar, which has been seized by the military. The U.S. Senate has proposed to spend 121 million U.S. dollars under the title of economic support fund in the budget proposal to be spent on Myanmar in 2024 and the U.S. House of Representatives proposed spending $50 million.

Michael Haack, a US-based Burmese activist, said that in the budget proposed by the Senate, in addition to the expenditure to implement the activities defined by the Burma Act and if the amounts given to Myanmar from other global health, education and development assistance programs are added, the total amount could be up to $167 million. "Among the proposals proposed by the Senate, the various expenses that will be allocated for various projects related to Myanmar, there is up to 167 million dollars in total. This is the total amount that will be spent next year for various programs related to Myanmar that will be carried out by various US government departments and organizations. The amount proposed by the House is $50 million, much less. To effectively implement the contents of the Burma Act, it's needed to approve the proposed amount of funding by the Senate. The entire US government must approve its budget for next year this month. But it cannot be confirmed at the moment. By next December, if there is any agreement between the Democrats and Republicans in the US Congress, we hope that the budget for Myanmar will be approved.”

The BURMA Act was passed as part of the US National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which specifies the work the US government will implement for democracy and federalism in Burma, where the military seized power last year. Under this law, from 2023 to 2027, the Myanmar people will receive aid from the US government. This law includes plans to provide humanitarian assistance to war victims, to provide technical and non-weapon aid to organizations fighting for democracy, including the National Unity Government (NUG), the People's Defense Forces (PDF), and the Ethnic Armed Forces (EAO), participants in the non-violent anti-dictatorship CDM movement, and to support military personnel who have left the Myanmar military.

Just last September 21, the US government announced that it would provide $116 million in humanitarian aid to the 74,000 Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh and the Bangladesh communities that have hosted them.

Despite these delays, Michael Haack suggested to the Myanmar people in the United States to urge the members of parliament of the respective states to approve the budget for Myanmar presented by the Senate. "The amount of funding that the US government will spend next year for Myanmar is quite different from the two amounts proposed by the Senate and the House of Representatives. Compared to the $50 million proposed by the House of Representatives, the amount proposed by the Senate is more comprehensive and specific. Therefore, I hope that the amount proposed by the Senate will be approved. Myanmar people in the United States also need to contact the relevant MPs and urge them to approve the proposal of the Senate. Those living in Washington state should contact Senator Patty Murray. For those living in Maine, contact Senator Susan Collins and those living in the state of Texas should contact Congresswoman Kay Ranger. Then, I would like to urge you to approve the budget proposed by the Senate for Myanmar without making any changes. These individuals are the main decision-makers in the committee that will approve the budget for Myanmar.”

In 2023, the US government set a budget of $136 million for Burma under the Burma Act but there were delays in getting it approved. It was signed and approved by President Joe Biden last March.


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