MFAN Statement: Senate Does Disservice to Americans, Allies & Foreign Assistance Recipients by Killing Transparency Legislation

January 4, 2012 (WASHINGTON) – This statement is delivered on behalf of the Modernizing Foreign Assistance Network (MFAN) by Co-Chairs David Beckmann, George Ingram and Jim Kolbe:

We are disappointed that one Senator’s objection earlier this week killed the Foreign Aid Transparency and Accountability Act (H.R. 3159), which had been scheduled for passage by unanimous consent after the House approved it without objection last week.

Because the bill came so close to becoming law, we are optimistic about its prospects in the 113th Congress and we plan to redouble our efforts to support its passage.  We remain grateful for Texas Rep. Ted Poe’s leadership in introducing the bill, and for the support of original co-sponsor Rep. Howard Berman (D-CA) and 55 other Members of the House who endorsed the legislation. We also applaud Senators Richard Lugar (R-IN), Marco Rubio (R-FL), and John Kerry (D-MA) for shepherding the bill in the Senate. Finally, we thank our MFAN partner organizations for the hard work they did in pushing for the legislation’s passage.

The Foreign Aid Transparency and Accountability Act would have an unmistakably positive impact on the effectiveness and accountability of our foreign assistance. It would institute a more uniform approach to monitoring and evaluation (M&E) across all of our assistance programs, while also updating and expanding the Foreign Assistance Dashboard public information website. Equally as important, it would foster more consistent and comprehensive interaction between the Administration and Congress on development issues.

The American people deserve to know how their tax dollars are being spent and what they are achieving, and our international partners and foreign assistance recipients themselves need clearer and more consistent information in order to strengthen the impact of programs on the ground. We look forward to working with the 113th Congress on these issues, and we hope the Obama Administration will show its support for the legislation as well.


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