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CQ Examines House Foreign Affairs Committee Outline To Overhaul U.S. Foreign Aid

Congressional Quarterly examines a “three-page concept paper” issued by the House Foreign Affairs Committee that lays out a plan to overhaul U.S. foreign aid. The committee suggests “giving the administration greater flexibility to control aid in exchange for greater public oversight and a performance- and need-driven allocation system,” the news service writes. “The plan would reorganize aid programs around seven purposes, including ‘reducing poverty and alleviating human suffering,’ ‘supporting human rights and democracy,’ and ‘expanding prosperity through trade and investment,'” according to CQ. The House committee wants to enhance USAID’s role, “giving the agency a seat on the National Security Council and putting it in charge of the U.S. global AIDS plan and the Millennium Challenge Corporation,” the news service writes. 

Reforming U.S. foreign aid is a “top legislative priority” for Foreign Affairs Committee Chair Rep. Howard Berman (D-Calif.), who earlier this year introduced a bill “to require the administration to put together a development strategy, which he called a ‘down payment’ on greater change,” CQ reports.  Last week, Senate Foreign Relations Chair John Kerry (D-Mass.) introduced bipartisan legislation “to beef up” USAID, “also intended as a first step toward an overhaul,” writes CQ.

The story includes reaction to the House committee’s concept paper from Capitol Hill and foriegn aid experts (Graham-Silverman, 8/3).