Duncan Works to Reform Foreign Aid
Washington, DC – This week, freshman Congressman Jeff Duncan introduced multiple amendments to the FY12 Foreign Relations Authorization Act that passed the full House Foreign Affairs Committee. Each of the amendments passed and were adopted into the final version of the bill that passed out of the full committee late Thursday evening.
“Our government borrows $0.43 cents of every dollar we spend as a nation, and some in Congress still think we’re the world’s piggy bank” said Duncan. “We’re $14.3 trillion in debt. Why should we pay countries to hate us when they’ve shown they’re willing to do it for free?”
One of Duncan’s amendments bars funding for governments who oppose the United States position a majority of the time in the United Nations.
Another Duncan amendment, which he co-authored with Rep. Ted Poe (R-TX), requires stricter financial accountability for foreign aid projects. Currently, most foreign aid projects are not required to report how much money is being spent, in which country, or who is in charge of administering the funds. The Duncan/Poe Amendment requires every project to be able to provide this basic information on a website for all Americans to see. Additionally, Duncan introduced a related amendment that requires for-profit USAID contractors who receive more than half of their funding from the government to disclose how much money their top five employees earn. This is to insure that the majority of aid money given actually reaches the area of need and doesn't go into the pockets of contractors.
Congressman Duncan also introduced another amendment that prohibits any funding for the Muslim Brotherhood and its affiliates. Duncan’s amendment ensures that no American tax dollars go to that organization.
Finally, Duncan introduced an amendment to elevate the importance of international religious freedom in the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). Duncan’s amendment would require that UNHCR conduct a review of refugee-based claims and provide religious freedom training to their staff to prevent future grief for refugees on religious freedom grounds.
“Today, we are taking serious steps to reform our foreign aid programs,” Duncan said. “As a nation, we are more than $14 trillion in debt. Yet some Democrats still want to send large amounts of tax dollars overseas to people who hate us. These amendments are a good step in the right direction for our country. The United States has no business giving money away to countries and groups who seek to do us harm.”