A major reform of how the federal government manages international development finances from U.S. Rep. Ted Yoho, R-Fla., is gaining traction in Congress.
Yoho, the chairman of the U.S. House Asia and Pacific Subcommittee, is the House sponsor of the “Better Utilization of Investments Leading to Development Act (BUILD Act)” which streamlines a host of federal programs into a single development finance corporation. The Trump administration made a similar proposal in its FY 2019 budget request.
This week, the U.S. Foreign Affairs Committee passed Yoho’s proposal and the North Florida Republican weighed in on after the vote.
“Today we have taken another important step forward in modernizing America’s development finance system. The BUILD Act will make our nation more competitive on the global stage and the distribution of our foreign aid dollars more efficient. Thank you to Chairman Ed Royce, Ranking Member Eliot Engle, Congressman Adam Smith, and all my colleagues for their continued support of this bipartisan, bicameral bill. I look forward to having President Trump sign the BUILD Act into law eventually.”
As he noted, Yoho has reeled in U.S. Rep. Adam Smith, D-Wash., as a cosponsor.
“Passage of the BUILD Act out of the House Foreign Affairs Committee is a significant milestone towards helping to bring U.S. international development financing into the 21st century,” Smith said after the committee passed the bill. “I worked closely with Chairman Royce and Subcommittee Chairman Yoho on an amendment to help focus the new institution on sustainable, broad-based development programs that support social and economic outcomes. I was very pleased to see several additional amendments pass which strengthened labor and environmental standards, as well as oversight and transparency in the new institution. This bill is an example of what bipartisan cooperation can accomplish, and I look forward to the next steps.”
The bill has more than 20 other cosponsors in the House including U.S. Rep. Francis Rooney, R-Fla., who took over as vice chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee from Yoho.
Over in the Senate, Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Corker, R-Tenn., and U.S. Sen. Chris Coons, D-Del., introduced a similar proposal. Corker’s office insisted the new development finance corporation “will leverage the U.S. private sector’s expertise and investment capital to generate economic growth in the developing world that will support American interests.”
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