Sens. Isakson and Coons Lead Senate Expansion of Congressional Caucus for Effective Foreign Assistance

March 28, 2017 (WASHINGTON) – This statement is delivered on behalf of the Modernizing Foreign Assistance Network (MFAN) by Co-Chairs George Ingram and Connie Veillette.

Last week, the Congressional Caucus for Effective Foreign Assistance announced its expansion to the Senate under the leadership of Senators Johnny Isakson (R-GA) and Chris Coons (D-DE).  They join new co-chair Representative Ted Yoho (R-FL) and founding co-chair Representative Adam Smith (D-WA).  Rep. Yoho assumed the role of co-chair at the beginning of this Congress after the retirement of Rep. Ander Crenshaw (R-FL).

The Caucus expansion was officially announced at a Capitol Hill reception co-sponsored by MFAN and the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition, in coordination with the Caucus.

“The Congressional Caucus for Effective Foreign Assistance has secured its place as an important advocate for the effective use of ‘soft power’ to help strengthen our national security and promote democracy and high standards worldwide,” said Senator Isakson. “I am pleased to join my friend U.S. Sen. Chris Coons, along with U.S. Reps. Adam Smith and Ted Yoho, in furthering this important cause and working to ensure that our diplomatic initiatives are well targeted and achieve real results.”

“For several years, the Congressional Caucus for Effective Foreign Assistance has highlighted the importance of effective and transparent U.S. foreign assistance under Representative Adam Smith’s leadership,” said Senator Coons.  “I am excited to join Representative Adam Smith, Representative Ted Yoho, and Senator Johnny Isakson in continuing the work of the Caucus in the 115th Congress, reforming our assistance to make it more effective, and ensuring that foreign assistance remains a pillar of U.S. engagement around the world.”

“I am honored to be co-chairing with Rep. Smith and working with likeminded members of Congress to further America’s soft power around the world,” said Congressman Yoho.  “The more effective aid we distribute globally helps alleviate pressure on our defensive foot print around the globe. Our mission is to also increase the accountability of American tax dollars sent to foreign countries and to transition from aid to trade. All the members of this caucus, in the House and the Senate, take the national security of America very seriously. I look forward to working with the members of CCEFA in advancing American goodwill while simultaneously strengthening our national security at home.”

“I am so pleased to welcome Rep. Yoho as co-chair, and I very much look forward to working with him,” said Congressman Adam Smith.  “The Caucus has been a great example of bipartisanship for many years, and I am grateful that Sen. Isakson and Sen. Coons agreed to co-chair the Caucus in the Senate.  National security encompasses much more than defense. The three pillars of diplomacy, development, and defense are absolutely essential to protecting the American people and our interests at home and abroad. Diplomatic and development programs that have been funded on a bipartisan basis for years are critical to our country’s interests.  I look forward to working with the Caucus co-chairs to make sure these programs are effective in advancing our national security goals.”

“We welcome Senators Isakson and Coons and thank all four co-chairs for their dedication and outstanding leadership on aid reform,” said MFAN Co-Chair and Lugar Center Senior Fellow Connie Veillette who emceed Tuesday’s event.

“The Caucus is a true testament to bipartisanship and an invaluable ally in elevating the dialogue on Capitol Hill around the importance of effective foreign assistance,” said George Ingram, MFAN Co-Chair and Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution.

MFAN looks forward to deepening our work with the Caucus to make U.S. foreign assistance more accountable and impactful.

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