July 22, 2009 (WASHINGTON) – The Senate Foreign Relations Committee held a hearing on foreign aid reform during which bipartisan members of the committee, including Chairman John Kerry (D-MA), Ranking Minority Member Richard Lugar (R-IN), Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ), Senator Bob Corker (R-TN), and Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) expressed support for revitalizing USAID and making U.S. assistance more effective. MFAN Co-Chair David Beckmann was a featured panelist at the hearing.
July 22, 2009 (WASHINGTON) – In his opening statement, MFAN Co-Chair David Beckmann urges SFRC Chairman Kerry (D-MA) and Ranking Minority Member Lugar (R-IN) to push forward with efforts to make U.S. foreign assistance more effective at alleviating poverty and hunger, fighting disease, and creating opportunity in developing countries.
July 16, 2009 (Washington): We commend Secretary of State Clinton for her important address today at the Council on Foreign Relations, and we are particularly supportive of her inclusion of “elevate and integrate development as a core pillar of American power” and “integrate civilian and military action in conflict areas” in her list of the five foreign policy priorities of the Obama Administration. Even more important than the Secretary’s development rhetoric were her pledges of action on modernizing the U.S. foreign assistance system.
MFAN commends Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for her decision to undertake America’s first-ever Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review (QDDR), which is further evidence that she is more committed to development than any Secretary of State in history.
June 25, 2009 (Washington, DC) – MFAN strongly supports the call made today by eight former Secretaries of State for Congress to provide more robust funding for development and diplomacy. The Obama Administration and Congress must also modernize the U.S. foreign assistance system – our primary mechanism for carrying out development – in order to make sure that any resources committed to these efforts are spent effectively and get into the hands of people who need help most.
MFAN applauds members of the House of Representatives for demonstrating their commitment to “smart power” foreign policy with yesterday’s passage of the Foreign Relations Authorization Act for Fiscal Years 2010 and 2011 (H.R. 2410), which will strengthen U.S. diplomacy and development capabilities and bring better balance to U.S. efforts to engage with the world.
Chairman Howard Berman (D-CA) and other bipartisan Members of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs (HCFA) deserve credit for passing H.R. 2410, the Foreign Relations Authorization Act, which would provide funding for the State Department to carry out diplomacy and development programs…[and] we urge U.S. leaders to move forward with modernizing the U.S. foreign assistance system.”
MFAN strongly supports the Chairman’s pledge to introduce legislation that will begin the process of modernizing the U.S. foreign assistance system in order to make sure these investments are more coordinated and transparent, as well as more effective at getting help to the people who need it most.
The amendment’s sponsors, Sens. John Kerry (D-MA) and Richard Lugar (R-IN), the respective chairman and ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, deserve special recognition for their leadership. The amendment shows that they believe the United States must stay deeply engaged with the rest of the world, and we are particularly heartened that it allows for continued U.S. global development programs that alleviate poverty, fight disease, create opportunity, and foster sustainable security for people in poor countries.