The National Security Council Deputies Committee meeting last week continues to generate buzz with a recent post by Politico blogger Laura Rozen. Yesterday, Rozen posted a piece that focused on frustration felt on Capitol Hill among members and staff over the lack of significant consultation during the review processes for the State Department’s Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review (QDDR) and the White House’s Presidential Study Directive on Global Development Policy (PSD-7):
“We recognize there is not consensus within the administration for what is the appropriate direction for foreign assistance reform,” one Hill staffer told POLITICO. “We think it’s appropriate for us to have input in shaping that process and look forward to shaping that process.”
“What is important about this is that Congress isn’t waiting for the administration to wade through the QDDR and PSD processes and come out with its plan,” another source who declined to be identified said. Congress is “moving ahead. We think foreign aid reform is essential to ensure funds get to the people who need it and is done right.”
Rozen mentioned MFAN when citing attendees of the Deputies meeting last Wednesday, listing “the Millenium Challenge Corporation’s Sheila Herrling, a recent arrival in the administration from the Center for Global Development and a former principal with the Modernizing Foreign Assistance Network” as one of the officials present.
Today, Rozen blogged about a letter signed by eight former Secretaries of State – and organized by MFAN Partner the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition – urging Congress not to cut the FY 2011 International Affairs Budget as it heads to mark up in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee this afternoon. They wrote, “Increasing the investment in our civilian international capabilities will keep America safer by, among other things, addressing the root causes of terrorism and extremism, supporting key allies, and demonstrating America’s proud tradition of global leadership.” The signatories include Madeleine Albright, Warren Christopher, James Baker, Lawrence Eagleburger, Henry Kissinger, Colin Powell, Condoleezza Rice, and George P. Shultz.
Read the full letter here.
UPDATE: Josh Rogin, blogger for The Cable, also reported on the former Secretaries letter.