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Today the Obama Administration put forth its FY2011 International Affairs Budget, $1.28 billion of which is slated to fund the MCC.  This year’s MCC request is 10 percent lower than FY2010’s presidential request of $1.425 billion.  However, the $1.28 billion request is 16 percent more than the $1.105 billion that was actually appropriated for the MCC in FY2010.

With a full compact pipeline at the ready, the MCC’s FY2011 resources are lined up for compacts in Indonesia, Malawi, Zambia, and the first-ever second compact in Cape Verde.  Malawi was named compact-eligible in December 2007 while both Indonesia and Zambia were selected as compact-eligible in December 2008.  Cape Verde was re-selected as eligible for a second compact in December 2009.  These compacts will follow FY2010 compacts in the Philippines and Jordan.

Given that the FY2011 MCC request is $145 million lower than the FY2010 request, it will be important to secure strong congressional support from Democrats and Republicans to maintain something close to the president’s request level, which is reasonable for the MCC’s expected operations in FY2011. Senators Kerry and Lugar have taken a strong first step in that direction with their recent letter of support and guidance for the MCC.  Hopefully they and other members of Congress will ensure that the MCC is able to keep innovating and delivering results on its unique model of development assistance.

On a side note, my colleague tells me that the Treasury Department hosted a conference call today with members of the development community to walk through and answer questions on their portion of the budget request. This is a fantastic idea and it would be great if the MCC were to do the same in the coming days.