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Washington, D.C. –Bread for the World praised the House of Representatives for passing the Foreign Aid Transparency and Accountability Act of 2016 (H.R. 3766) late last night. Earlier, the Senate passed its version of the bill. The bill now goes to President Obama for his signature.
“Making U.S. foreign assistance more transparent and accountable will help ensure that our tax dollars are used effectively,” said Rev. David Beckmann, president of Bread for the World. “This is especially important now that the global community has embraced new goals to end hunger and poverty by 2030.”
The bill establishes important guidelines to ensure that U.S. foreign assistance dollars are administered in a transparent, accountable, and effective way. The bipartisan bill was sponsored by Reps. Ted Poe (R-Texas) and Gerry Connolly (D-Va.) in the House and Sens. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and Ben Cardin (D-Md.) in the Senate.
The bill requires the president to establish uniform guidelines across all U.S. foreign assistance programs. It also requires a public website—known as the Foreign Assistance Dashboard (www.foreignassistance.gov)—with detailed information about how such aid is used. Each relevant federal department or agency would be required to publish and update the dashboard quarterly with such information as budgets, evaluations, and strategies.
Over the years, Bread for the World and its members have sought to improve U.S. foreign assistance by emphasizing a stronger focus on reducing poverty and clearer accountability for how U.S. tax dollars are spent. Bread worked closely with the Modernizing Foreign Assistance Network to advocate for the bill in Congress.
“We thank the congressional leadership for their continued work to pass this common-sense, bipartisan bill,” Beckmann said. “More openness and transparency will help improve our foreign assistance programs and better allocate resources to where they are needed most.”
“As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, continue to live your lives in him, rooted and built up in him and established in faith.” These words from Colossians 2:6 remind us of the faith that is active in love for our neighbors.
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