From his perch on the U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee and as chairman of the U.S House Asia and the Pacific Subcommittee, U.S. Rep. Ted Yoho, R-Fla., continued his push for transparency as the Trump administration looks to reform the State Department and foreign aid.
On Tuesday, Yoho once again paired up with U.S. Rep. Adam Smith, D-Wash., to urge federal Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney to support an open dialogue and transparency as the Trump administration looks at making changes to the State Department and the U.S. Agency for International Development:
Yoho and Smith, who co-chair the Congressional Caucus for Effective Foreign Assistance, rounded up more than 65 members of Congress to sign a letter to Mulvaney on the issue.
“Strong bipartisan congressional support for foreign assistance programs is a key element of the United States’ global leadership,” they wrote. “ Over the last 15 years, Congress has worked with Republican and Democratic administrations to improve U.S. foreign assistance with powerful results, such as the Global Food Security Act and the Foreign Assistance Transparency and Accountability Act. Given Congress’ role as the sole body in the authorizing and budgetary processes, we believe that any effort to enact reforms without a strong partnership between Congress and the Administration will not be sustainable.”
Yoho applauded the idea of reforming foreign aid but said the Trump administration‘s efforts will be more effective if it works with Congress.
“In these financially restrictive times, as the United States re-evaluates our foreign assistance programs Congress must remain involved and work with the administration to create the most efficient and effective programs possible,” Yoho said on Tuesday. “By doing so, we can lay out specific goals to transition countries from aid to trade as rapidly as possible for maximum effect.”
“Any redesign of U.S. foreign assistance programs must be done in a transparent manner and in consultation with the development community and with Congress,” Smith insisted. “Public engagement during this critical juncture is necessary in order to improve the overall effectiveness of foreign assistance and bring further stability to the world.”
From the Florida delegation, Republican U.S. Reps. Dennis Ross and Democrats U.S. Reps. Ted Deutch, Lois Frankel, Stephanie Murphy and Debbie Wasserman Schultz signed the letter. A number of groups including Action Against Hunger, Save the Children, World Vision, Malaria No More, Fund for Global Health, Heartland Alliance, Global Citizen, the Hunger Project, Lutheran World Relief, American Heart Association, American Stroke Association, Catholic Relief Services, Refugees International and the ONE Campaign are backing Yoho’s and Smith’ efforts.
Back in September, Yoho and Smith penned a piece calling for the Trump administration to embrace transparency and work with Congress on reforming foreign aid that was published in The Hill.