To continue our profiles of new Congressman who have recently joined the Congressional Caucus for Effective Foreign Assistance (CCEFA), we take a look at Minnesota Representative Keith Ellison. This democrat rounds out the bipartisan caucus with an extensive record in support of foreign assistance and related programs. See below for a list of Rep. Ellison’s most notable actions and be sure to check back for more profiles.
District: Minnesota’s 5th
- Financial Services Committee
- Capital Markets and Government Sponsored Enterprises
- Oversight and Investigations
Rep. Ellison was a co-sponsor of the Initiating Foreign Assistance Reform Act of 2009, which pushed for a National Strategy for Global Development. The act also called for a formal system to monitor and evaluate U.S. foreign assistance programs and, consequently, for such information to be made public. Ellison has also sponsored and co-sponsored bills that target specific foreign assistance programs, such as the International Violence Against Women Act of 2010, the Paul Simon Water for the World Act of 2009, and the Global Food Security Act of 2009—many principles of which the Obama Administration has included in its marquee initiatives, like Feed the Future, as well as in USAID Forward reforms. Outside the halls of Congress, Ellison joined the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) Commission on Smart Global Health Policy as a Commissioner, the final report of which is similar to principles behind the Global Health Initiative. Read below for details on these efforts and other reform-friendly bills Rep. Ellison has undertaken:
- Sponsored H. Res. 1016 which expresses that: (1) the elimination of poverty and hunger should remain key for foreign and domestic U.S. policy goals; and (2) the President should implement a Global Marshall Plan to increase U.S. assistance towards the elimination of poverty.
- Co-sponsor of the International Violence Against Women Act of 2010. This directs the Secretary of State to establish the Office for Global Women’s Issues, to be headed by the Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women’s Issues, to coordinate efforts regarding gender integration and empowerment of women in U.S. foreign policy. It also establishes an Office for Women’s Global Development in USAID to coordinate USAID efforts to integrate gender across U.S. foreign assistance programs and policies.
- Co-sponsor of the Global Health Expansion, Access to Labor, Transparency, and Harmonization Act of 2010 or the Global HEALTH Act of 2010, which directs the President to: (1) transmit to Congress and make publicly available a comprehensive five-year United States Global Health Strategy to coordinate all health-related U.S. foreign assistance and to harmonize such assistance with the work of relevant U.S. executive branch agencies, governments of other countries, and international organizations; and (2) designate a Strategy Coordinator.
- Co-sponsor of the Global Resources and Opportunities for Women to Thrive Act of 2010 or GROWTH Act of 2010
- Co-sponsor of the Global Conservation Act of 2010
- Co-sponsor of the Global Sexual and Reproductive Health Act of 2010
- Co-sponsor of the Senator Paul Simon Water for the World Act of 2009. This would amend the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 to direct the Administrator of USAID to establish the Office of Water within the Bureau for Economic Growth, Agriculture, and Trade to: (1) give assistance to provide safe water and sanitation for people worldwide; and (2) be headed by a Director for Safe Water and Sanitation. This would also require the State Department to appoint a Special Coordinator for International Water. Lastly, this amends the Senator Paul Simon Water for the Poor Act of 2005 to: (1) revise requirements concerning the safe water and sanitation strategy; (2) provide for the establishment of a program to build the capacity of host country institutions and officials responsible for water and sanitation in countries that receive assistance; (3) expand the list of activities that may be supported by assistance; and (4) require the report regarding water for peace and security to include an assessment of political tensions over water sources and a multidisciplinary assessment of the expected impacts of global climate change on water supplies in 10, 25, and 50 years.
- Co-sponsored the Global Food Security Act of 2009. This would direct the President to designate an individual to serve as the Special Coordinator for Food Security to: (1) advise the President on international food security issues; (2) ensure coordination of global food security efforts and U.S. programs; and (3) oversee implementation of a comprehensive food security strategy to be headed by USAID.
- Co-sponsor of the Global Democracy Promotion Act.
- Co-sponsor of the Improvements in Global Maternal and Newborn Health Outcomes while Maximizing Successes Act or Improvements in Global MOMS.
- Co-sponsored H. Con. Res. 103, which supports the goals of Malaria Awareness Day, including the achievable target of ending malaria deaths by 2015. It also reaffirms the goals to combat malaria outlined in the Tom Lantos and Henry J. Hyde United States Global Leadership Against HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria Reauthorization Act of 2008.
- Co-sponsored H. Con. Res. 216, which recognizes the 21st anniversary of observing World AIDS Day.
- Sponsored H. Res. 1424 which supports humanitarian assistance, the protection of civilians, and accountability for abuses in Somalia.
- Co-Sponsor of the Zimbabwe Renewal Act of 2010, which embraces the principle of country ownership.