House Passes Foreign Relations Authorization Act

June 11, 2009 (WASHINGTON)This statement is delivered on behalf of the Modernizing Foreign Assistance Network (MFAN) by Co-Chairs David Beckmann and George Ingram:

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.

We believe that provisions in the bill calling for increased hiring at the State Department and USAID, rigorous monitoring and evaluation of nonmilitary foreign assistance programs, strategic review of diplomatic and development activities, and repeals of outdated stipulations in the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 are essential for achieving U.S. foreign policy and national security goals. By investing in nonmilitary capacity — and ensuring that those resources are used efficiently and transparently — the House is helping to strengthen U.S. foreign policy.

We also applaud Chairman Berman for introducing The Initiative Foreign Assistance Reform Act of 2009 (H.R. 2139), which would further strengthen the steps taken in the State Department Authorization bill to ensure U.S. taxpayer dollars are spent strategically and effectively. H.R. 2139 would direct the President to create a National Strategy for Global Development and set out clear goals for and better coordinate U.S. development policy and programs across the government. A growing list of bipartisan cosponsors has already signed on to the legislation.

We are grateful for Chairman Berman’s leadership on these critical issues, and we are hopeful that both H.R. 2139 and H.R. 2410 continue to move speedily through the legislative process.

Contact: Hannah Kaye at 202-337-0808 or

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