Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Foreign Assistance Act Reform/Rewrite ?

The 1961 Foreign Assistance Act is getting more than a little creaky. Maybe it's time to re-write it for the current era?

According to Sarah Jane Staats
"House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Howard Berman (D-CA) and his staff released the first 55 pages of a new Global Partnership Act of 2010 discussion draft, aiming to replace the outdatedand unwieldy Foreign Assistance Act of 1961. It’s a first step towards clarifying the mission, mandate and structure of U.S. foreign assistance programs, but also an opportunity to strengthen the draft before it is introduced as legislation...."
I'm not an expert on this subject at all, but two points stand out immediately:

  • It's remarkable that Representative Berman is doing his job in a responsible way that is garaunteed not to earn him any votes. I mean, seriously: our current politics have sunk so low that associating himself with Foreign Aid in any way has got to poll negative, but reforming it has got to be a high priority. Kudos on courage sir!
  • It seems likely that any program that old and with that many conflicting interests could do with a re-write.

Here's a discussion draft. Let's do that citizenship thing and try to figure it all out!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Awesome style. I want to be able to write that way.