Berman Defends Foreign Assistance

Congressman Howard Berman, Ranking Democrat on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, spoke yesterday on the House Floor about the importance of the International Affairs Budget and why the Republicans proposed budget cuts threaten American national security. To read his full statement, click here.

Berman Hails Progress Toward Aid Reform

Congressman Howard L. Berman (D-CA), chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, welcomed the administration’s release of a comprehensive reform agenda for the State Department and USAID, known as the Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review, or QDDR.

Chairman Berman Says It’s Time to Finish Foreign Aid Reform

In a new piece in The Washington Times, House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Howard Berman (D-CA) calls for Congress and the Administration to complete and institutionalize their work to make foreign aid programs “more effective, more efficient and more accountable.”

CQ Article Reports on the Future of Foreign Aid Reform

However, supporters of a foreign aid overhaul in the development community remain hopeful that with the completion of the State Department’s Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review in the coming weeks, the administration will step up its engagement with Capitol Hill.

Foreign Aid Ranks Among the President’s Foreign Policy Headaches

“The congressional drive to pass a wholesale reform of foreign-aid distribution has also been dealt a blow due to the GOP takeover of the House. The most comprehensive bill on this front was written by outgoing House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Howard Berman (D-Calif.) — but his bill failed to move out of committee, and it’s unlikely that his successor, Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.), will take up the cause. Expect congressional Republicans to also resist large increases in the budget for the State Department, which is taking on increased roles all over the world, including in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Sudan. The State Department’s budget for fiscal 2011 is still under consideration.”

MFAN Partner on the Tea Party and the President’s Global Development Policy

“Of course, aid is about more than money; how rich countries design their aid programs is as important as how much they give. In this sense, the pressure on the budget could help drive aid reforms and force the administration and Congress to make tough choices about where and how we spend our aid dollars and push for stronger evidence on what works in development. The push to be more selective with our development assistance, focus on economic growth, and do a better job of measuring impact and results (and share it publicly) is already lined up in the presidential policy directive on U.S. global development policy and seems like a reform mantle that both parties could get behind.”

Partisan Politics and Foreign Aid

“If current polls hold, Republicans will make significant gains in the Senate and likely take the House of Representatives, elevating a set of lawmakers to new heights of power and complicating Obama’s efforts to execute his foreign-policy agenda.” -Josh Rogin, Foreign Policy

New Stimson Center Blog Explores Tight Budgets and Security Priorities

The Stimson Center recently launched a new blog, The Will and the Wallet, as part of its Budgeting for Foreign Affairs and Defense program. The blog will serve as a hub for analysis and research of the elements of foreign affairs including budgets, institutions, structures, and authorities in an attempt to offer solutions for how the US can enhance its civilian capacity at a time of limited resources.