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Public Policy Update 5-24-13 0

Public Policy Update 5-24-13 0

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Published by: InterAction on May 24, 2013
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PUBLIC POLICY UPDATEMay 24, 2013WASHINGTON UPDATEBudget and Appropriations
On Tuesday, the House Appropriations Committee approved its proposed 302(b) allocations byvoice vote, after lengthy, partisan debate. The 302(b) allocations establish caps for each of theannual spending bills that allocate federal funds to specific discretionary programs. The House'sState, Foreign Operations (SFOPS) appropriations bill was capped at $40.6 billion – $34.1 billionfor the base budget and $6.5 billion for Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO). This isapproximately 21% below the current funding levels and 22% below the president’s budgetrequest.While most of the 302(b) allocations were significantly lower than current spending levels, severalof the spending bills received higher allocations than current spending levels, including theDepartment of Defense and Homeland Security. InterAction released apress statementinresponse to the House’s proposed 302(b) allocations. The Senate Appropriations Committee isexpected to propose its version of the 302(b) allocations in early June.The House Appropriations Committee also approved the Military Construction-Veterans’ Affairsappropriations bill on Tuesday and the Department of Homeland Security appropriations bill onWednesday. Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-MD) announced that the Senate Appropriations Committeewill consider the Military Construction-VA appropriations bill first (on June 17).
Syria Legislation
 Also, on Tuesday, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee voted 15-3 to pass the SyriaTransition Support Act of 2013 (S. 960). The committee’s press statement can be foundhere. Thelegislation would provide arms to members of the Syrian opposition who have gone through avetting process; broader humanitarian assistance authority; and sanctions on arms and oil salesto the Assad regime.
Food Aid Reform
Senators Chris Coons (D-DE) and Mike Johanns (R-NE) filed an amendment this week to theSenate Farm Bill, which will likely be considered on the floor on Monday, June 3, when the Senatereturns to session. It would increase the limit for Local and Regional Procurement (LRP) to $60million annually (from $40 million in the current Senate version of the Farm Bill) and has garneredthe support of InterAction and several InterAction members. We will continue to track itsdevelopment when the Senate returns to session.
HEARING SUMMARYDifferent Perspectives on International Development
Senate Committee on Foreign Relations – Subcommittee on International Development andForeign Assistance, Economic Affairs, International Environmental Protection, and Peace CorpsMay 22, 2013
 
2Witnesses:
Bill Lane
, Caterpillar; U.S. Global Leadership Coalition
John Murphy
, United States Chamber of Commerce
Todd Moss
, Center for Global DevelopmentOpening Statements:
Chairman Tim Kaine (D-VA)
This hearing is meant to compliment FY2014 budget hearings and looks at developmentfrom the private sector perspective.
Historically, foreign assistance investments were generally justified by national securityconcerns.
There has been a huge shift in where development assistance funding comes from over the past several decades:
o
Dramatic increase in private sector resource flows.
o
87% of global total development assistance is from private sources.
Developing countries share of global GDP is rising and half of U.S. exports going todeveloping world.
How can the U.S. better leverage private partners?
How can the U.S. measure the success of its efforts?
Ranking Member John Barrasso (R-WY)
Constituents want to know what the purpose of foreign aid is, how it is effective, whatvalue it adds to the U.S.?
With national debt increasing, it is irresponsible for the government to continue to borrowto fund programs that have not been implemented effectively.
Congress needs to evaluate effectiveness of all foreign aid programs, support programsthat are getting results and eliminate ineffective programs.
Todd Moss
U.S. development policy is not just about foreign assistance.
U.S. needs to look at using multilateral channels as well.
U.S. aid and development policies have underachieved many times.
Many of these failures resulted from structural problems.
o
USAID Forward, the Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review (QDDR),and the Presidential Policy Directive on Global Development were initiated by theadministration but will not fix U.S. development policy.
o
These problems can’t be solved by providing more money or adding anothebureaucratic layer.
Three problems:
o
Too many federal agencies involved (24 agencies) in foreign assistance.
o
Foreign aid has too many often conflicting objectives.
o
Interagency process is broken, which results in the delay of key decisions,duplication of work, etc.
Three possible solutions:
o
Limit number of agencies involved.
o
Link budget process to goals and results; allow experimentation with newdevelopment models (example: MCC compact model); Congress could alsoexperiment with cash on delivery programs.
 
3
o
Should focus on development finance; demand for traditional development financeis shrinking and shifting to debt relief and other forms of development finance.
John Murphy
No priority facing our nation today is more important than putting Americans back to work.
World trade must play a central role in reaching this job creation goal.
One in three manufacturing jobs relies on exports; one in three acres of agricultural land isexported.
Business case for international affairs:
o
Protects diplomatic efforts.
o
Provides technical advice for countries to become better markets for U.S.companies.
Competition is fierce in development markets (example: China).
China’s programs grew 25-fold from 2002-2007.
Export-Import Bank (Ex-Im) is important to small- and medium-sized businesses.
o
Without Ex-Im, U.S. businesses wouldn’t be able to provide the amount of exportsthey currently do.
o
Ex-Im generated more than $1 billion in profits to Treasury last year.
Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) is a hallmark of public-privatepartnership and operates at no cost to U.S. tax payer.
U.S. Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) helps U.S. firms compete on internationalplaying field.
U.S. companies need the support and funding for these programs (OPIC, USTDA, Ex-Im).
Bill Lane
Trade supports more than 38 million jobs in the U.S.
Reality is that trade and aid are mutually supportive.
Teamwork approach of private-public partnerships is key (Plan Colombia program in the1990s is a good example of this).
Development and diplomacy programs in 150 account provide foundation for development.
International affairs programs have been cut by 20% in past few years and this is not inU.S. best interest.
Opposes further cuts and encourages investment in strong international affairs budget.Questioning:
Chairman Tim Kaine (D-VA)
1. How can you balance better organization of agencies with the desire for a comprehensiveapproach?
Moss:
o
U.S. is always going to have complex interests overseas.
o
The three Ds (development, diplomacy and defense) sometimes cometogether, but very often they don’t.
o
More often than not, examples like the success of Plan Colombia are theexception and not the rule.
Lane:
o
Where there is truly a unified mission, it really works (example: PlanColombia).
o
Some consolidation must take place.

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