Foreign Aid Transparency and Accountability Act of 2015by Representative Eliot L. Engel
Posted on 2015-12-08
ENGEL. Madam Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.
I rise in support of this measure.
First of all, I want to thank Congressman Poe and Congressman Connolly for all their hard work on this bill. Enhancing transparency and accountability in our foreign assistance spending is something with which we can all agree. And it is important that we get our foreign assistance right. Our foreign aid represents just a tiny sliver of the Federal Government's annual budget--less than 1 percent. But if it is put to the right use, it is an investment that pays huge dividends.
Why is that? Because when we support the construction of a water treatment facility in an overcrowded city or train teachers in a rural village, we are doing more than just directly helping those affected. We are helping to bring stability and prosperity to entire communities and populations. And when we have stronger partners around the world, it helps enhance our own security and advance our own interests.
So, as I like to say, foreign assistance is the right thing to do for those who are in desperate need, and it is also the smart thing to do in terms of American foreign policy and national security. But it is important that we are spending our limited foreign assistance dollars efficiently and effectively.
[[Page H9066]] The Obama administration is taking important steps to enhance the monitoring and evaluation of our foreign assistance programs. When she was Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton was at the forefront of those efforts.
This legislation, the Foreign Aid Transparency and Accountability Act, would build on the great progress already made by the administration. It would write into law many of the steps they have already taken, making these efforts permanent for future administrations.
This will help ensure that our investments are as effective as possible by requiring measurable goals and plans for monitoring and evaluation.
Madam Speaker, this important legislating will help all of us to better understand how our foreign assistance programs help promote stability, prosperity, and democracy around the world, and how these investments advance our own security interests.
I am for accountability, so I strongly support this bill. I urge my colleagues to do the same.