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Tag: US Congress

 

FY2016 Omnibus – Naughty or Nice?

While you might not know it from the weather, there’s at least one sure sign it’s December in DC. No, we’re not referring to the oversized and ornamented evergreens on the Capitol and White House lawns, but to the recent mad dash by Congress to wrap up remaining legislative business before the end of session. Despite a year marked by bitter partisanship, Congress managed to arrive at an agreement to fund the federal government through the rest of FY2016.

For the IMF Package in the Omnibus Budget, a Sigh of Relief — and a Warning for the Future

Congress finally gave the administration what it has been asking for on IMF quota reform, and then some. At the same time, Congress didn’t just give the administration the ability to go forward on governance reform that gives more voting power to rising developing countries.  It also included some potentially consequential conditions on its approval. Here we see risks going forward that are manageable but will require some skillful navigation by the next administration.  

STOP. Attempting to Overhaul the US Foreign Aid Apparatus is a Trap

The last time Congress overhauled the US foreign assistance apparatus, John F. Kennedy was president.  The Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 (FAA) made some sweeping changes. There hasn’t been a wholesale reexamination of how US development programs are structured, administered, and coordinated.  Exhibit A is the fact that over 20 US agencies currently deliver aid programs.  As such, there is a compelling case for finally fixing a broken, fragmented, and underperforming system.  Yet pushing for a new FAA is a really bad idea. Whoever takes the White House in 2017 should not fall into this trap.

Congress Talks MDBs

It was a beautiful, barely-fall Friday in Washington, which made it all the more impressive that twelve members dropped in on a morning House Finan

Half an Electrify Africa Bill: Better than None!

Power Africa has the potential to be a game changer for US foreign assistance and for how the United States works with Sub-Saharan Africa. Congressional authorization is needed to solidify Power Africa beyond President Obama's tenure. That’s why we were thrilled to see Electrify Africa pass the House last year (297-117) with bipartisan support and see nearly identical texts introduced this year in both the House andSenate (S. 1933 and H.R. 2847). Yet it was a disappointment to see that the bill dropped the key language related to the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) as introduced earlier this year. 

US Food Aid Tragically Failing to Keep Up

With the situation in Syria deteriorating every day, and conflict elsewhere displacing millions more from their homes and livelihoods, desperately needed food aid is falling short. Donor fatigue and budget constraints are a problem worldwide, but reform would allow the United States to help millions more people with the same food aid budget. 

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