Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Foreign Assistance Reform Bill Update (5/5/09)

Happy Cinqo de Mayo! A few notes about the new Foreign Assistance Reform Bill from Bread for the World...
-Rep. Howard Berman (D-CA), chair of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, and Rep. Mark Kirk (R-IL), member of the House Appropriations Committee, introduced the Initiating Foreign Assistance Reform Act of 2009 (H.R. 2139), on April 28.

-Bread is working quickly to gain cosponsors for the bill since it is expected to move rapidly from the House Foreign Affairs Committee to the House floor. It is likely that the committee will work on the bill before Congress begins its Memorial Day recess on May 23.

- The bill is a critical first step toward making foreign assistance more effective, efficient, and transparent. It calls on the president to develop and implement a comprehensive national strategy for global development, improve the evaluation of development programs, and increase the transparency of U.S. foreign assistance to developing countries.

- Rep. Berman said that the bill is a “down payment” on a broader bill to improve foreign assistance that he plans to introduce later this year.

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