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S.Res. 312 – Expressing the sense of the Senate on empowering and strengthening the United States Agency for International Development (USAID)

The proposed resolution would express the sense of the Senate that a USAID Administrator should be “nominated with all expediency and exigency,” that USAID “must be empowered to be the primary development agency of the United States,” and that the Administrator should increase the number of Foreign Service Offices at USAID and submit a 5-year staffing plan to Congress.

Timeline of the bill:

- Introduced and referred to the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations on October 13, 2009.

- Passed by unanimous consent in the Senate on November 9, 2009. This is the final action in the legislative process for resolutions. Therefore, no further action will be taken and this resolution takes effect.

S. 1733 – Clean Energy Jobs and American Power Act

Among other things, the proposed bill would require the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) to develop a “National Strategic Action Plan . . . to assist health professionals in preparing for and responding to the impacts of climate change on public health in the United States and other nations, particularly developing nations.”

- The bill would also create the “Climate Change Health Protection and Promotion Fund,” which would be made available to the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) in order “to assist the efforts of developing nations to incorporate measures to prepare health systems to respond to the impacts of climate change.”

- Finally, the bill would create the “International Climate Change Adaptation and Global Security Program,” which would “provide assistance to the most vulnerable developing countries” through bilateral and/or multilateral assistance.

Timeline of the bill:

- Introduced and referred to the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works on September 30, 2009.

- Reported favorably out of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works on November 5, 2009.

USAID releases “A Report to Congress on the $75 Million FY09 Food Security Strategy: Targeted Agriculture Funds”

This report details how USAID will utilize “$75 million in agriculture funds targeted to food security” as provided for by the 2009 Omnibus Appropriations Act. The report states that the funding “will be specifically targeted to investments that provide the foundations for a longer-term, global strategy on food security to begin in 2010 . . . and provides a detailed program accounting for the $75 million.”

GAO Testimony – International Food Assistance: A U.S. Government-wide Strategy Could Accelerate Progress toward Global Food Security

In testimony before the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, Subcommittee on Africa and Global Health, GAO representatives discussed “(1) host government and donor efforts to halve hunger, especially in sub-Saharan Africa, by 2015, and (2) the status of U.S. agencies’ implementation of GAO’s 2008 recommendations” to address food security issues, which included “(1) develop an integrated government-wide U.S. strategy that defines actions with specific time frames and resource commitments, enhances collaboration, and improves measures to monitor progress and (2) report annually to Congress on the implementation of the first recommendation.”

Secretary of State Clinton’s statements and actions on global health issues during diplomatic trip to Pakistan, the Middle East, Morocco and Egypt

On October 28, 2009, Secretary of State Clinton began a diplomatic trip to Pakistan, the Middle East, Morocco and Egypt. During her trip, Secretary Clinton discussed U.S. food security policy at a Roundtable with business leaders in Pakistan, announced science envoys and an increased number of health officers in U.S. embassies during remarks at the “Forum for the Future” in Morocco, and commented on the Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review (QDDR) during an “Embassy Meet and Greet” in Morocco.

USAID announces new program to address substandard and counterfeit medicines in developing countries

USAID announced the Promoting the Quality of Medicines (PQM) Program, a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Pharmacopeial Convention (USP) that “will serve as a primary mechanism to help assure the quality, safety and efficacy of medicines that are essential to USAID’s priority health programs.”

USAID issues consensus statement on family planning as a key component of post abortion care

USAID “issued a consensus statement about the importance of family planning as a key component of post abortion care.” The consensus statement, which was also signed by International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics (FIGO), the International Confederation of Midwives (ICM), and the International Council of Nurses (ICN), “notes that all women should receive counseling and family planning services after any abortion – spontaneous or induced – irrespective of the pregnancy termination or evacuation procedure used.”

USAID launches Emerging Pandemic Threats (EPT) program

USAID launched an Emerging Pandemic Threats (EPT) program that will work “to pre-empt or combat, at their source, newly emerging diseases of animal origin that could threaten human health” by focusing “resources on detecting dangerous pathogens at an early stage, building appropriate laboratory capacity to support surveillance, responding in an appropriate and timely manner, strengthening national and local response capacities, and educating at-risk populations on how to prevent exposure to these dangerous pathogens.”

H.R. 2997 – Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2010 (Public Law No: 111-080)

The 2010 agriculture appropriations bill approved on September 30, 2009 by the House-Senate Conference Committee includes $1.69 billion for international food aid through the P.L. 480 Title II Grants Program and an additional $209.5 million for the McGovern-Dole International Food for Education and Child Nutrition Program. Additionally, the bill provides funds “for research to develop new food aid products to provide higher nutritional content to food aid recipients . . . [and provides guidance] . . . to the Secretary to improve audit systems for maintaining the quality of food aid commodities and to generally improve the efficiencies of administering food aid programs.”

Relevant Amendments:

- The Senate passed by a voice vote an amendment (S.AMDT.2253) introduced by Senator Saxby Chambliss (R-GA) and co-sponsored by Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) “to require a report on the status of the reorganization of the Foreign Agricultural Service and future plans to modify office structures.” (August 3, 2009)

- The Senate passed by a voice vote an amendment (S.AMDT.2229) introduced by Senator Sam Brownback (R-KS) and co-sponsored by Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) “to establish within the Food and Drug Administration two review groups to recommend solutions for the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of rare diseases and neglected diseases of the developing world.” (August 3, 2009)

Timeline of the bill:

- The House Committee on Appropriations approved by voice vote a draft version of the 2010 agriculture appropriations bill on June 18, 2009.

- Introduced, referred to the House Committee on Appropriations, reported on by the committee, and placed on the Union Calendar on June 23, 2009.

- The bill was passed by the House (266-160) on July 9, 2009.

- The bill was received in the Senate and placed on the Senate Legislative Calendar under General Orders (Calendar No. 105) on July 10, 2009.

- The bill was passed with amendments by the Senate (80-17) and referred to a House-Senate Conference Committee on August 4, 2009.

- The House disagreed with the version of the bill as amended by the Senate and agreed to refer the bill to a House-Senate Conference Committee on September 29, 2009.

- The House-Senate Conference Committee met, approved the bill (with changes), and submitted a conference report on September 30, 2009.

- The House approved (263-162) the House-Senate Conference Committee Report on October 7, 2009.

- The Senate approved (76-22) the House-Senate Conference Committee Report on October 8, 2009.

- The President signed the bill into law (Public Law No: 111-080) on October 21, 2009.