Senators Chris Dodd (D-CT), Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Ben Cardin (D-MD) have introduced a resolution (S.Res.312) that calls for the Administrator of the U.S. Agency for International Development to be named expeditiously as well as a strengthened and empowered USAID.
“The United States faces an ever-growing array of foreign policy challenges, and in nearly every instance, international development should be part of the solution,” said Sen. Dodd in a news release.
“Military and civilian leaders both agree: a strong development strategy is critical for our long term success,” added Sen. Durbin.
“We should have a strong USAID Administrator in place quickly to oversee the vital functions of our primary development agency so that it can serve as a constructive partner with other U.S. agencies,” said Sen. Cardin.
In addition to calling for “a highly capable and knowledgeable individual” to serve as USAID Administrator and “as the chief advocate for United States development capacity and strategy in top-level national security deliberations,” the resolution states that USAID “must be empowered to be the primary development agency of the United States and to serve as the principal advisor to the President and national security organs of the United States Government on the capacity and strategy of United States development assistance.”
In a statement for the record, Sen. Dodd said: “This resolution also recognizes the tremendously important role development plays in foreign policy, and puts the Senate on record as supporting an empowered USAID. I believe USAID should be a strong and independent voice in high-level U.S. foreign policy debates. If U.S. development policy and, by extension, U.S. foreign policy is to succeed in the long run, USAID must be an independent body that can advocate for what it knows best—how to effectively deliver and implement US foreign assistance, at the highest level. And it must have a serious seat at the table. Our foreign policy will neither be comprehensive nor sufficient to meet the challenges of the 21st century, without serious and unbiased input from America’s development experts.”
Cosponsors of the resolution thus far include Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman John Kerry (D-MA) along with Sens. Kit Bond (R-MO), Roland Burris (D-IL), Paul Kirk (D-MA), Bob Menendez (D-NJ), Patty Murray (D-WA), and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI).
Read the resolution: Dodd Durbin Cardin Aid Resolution