blog_thecable_full3

Meet the new Foreign Ops appropriator: Jim Moran

Meet the new Foreign Ops appropriator: Jim Moran

For all you readers who love to follow (or need to follow) the appropriators who dole out the foreign operations funding, this is big news: Virginia Democrat Jim Moran is now a member of the House State and Foreign Operations Appropriations subcommittee.

The outgoing chairman of the full committee, David Obey, D-WI, announced the changing musical chairs on the committee last night and put out a press release. Moran replaces Betty McCollum, D-MN, who is no longer on the subcommittee.

Although Moran will technically be the lowest-ranking member of the subcommittee, as a long-time appropriator with other top subcommittee postings, he’s sure to have influence. In March he was named chairman of the interior and environment subcommittee and he is the third ranking Democrat on the ultra-powerful defense subcommittee as well.

Importantly, Moran is close to defense subcommittee chairman Norm Dicks, D-WA, who is widely expected to take over the chairmanship of the full committee next year when Obey retires. In fact, it was Dicks who handed over the interior subcommittee gavel to Moran.

And now, as both a defense and foreign ops appropriator, Moran sits at the intersection of the congressional debate over how to rebalance the tools of national statecraft from the military to the diplomatic core, which is raging inside the government now. The foreign ops community will be watching to see if he ends up siding with those who support the president’s requested budget increase (Gates, Clinton, Bono, etc.) or those who want to cut foreign ops funding to pay for domestic needs (Kent Conrad).