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House To Vote On Foreign Aid Bill Today

WASHINGTON, Dec. 30, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Bread for the World applauds the vote on H.R. 3159, the Foreign Aid Transparency and Accountability Act of 2012. Scheduled for 6.30 p.m. today, this bipartisan legislation is an important step towards better efficiency among U.S. foreign aid programs.

"Given lawmakers' ongoing quest to balance the federal budget and reduce our nation's deficit, it is imperative that the United States streamlines foreign assistance efforts to ensure more efficiency and effectiveness in reaching the people who need it most," said Rev. David Beckmann, president of Bread for the World and co-chair of the Modernizing Foreign Assistance Network. "We applaud Congress for recognizing this and taking steps to guarantee better accountability and transparency."

Introduced by Representative Ted Poe (R- Texas), this bill requires the president to establish uniform guidelines across all U.S. foreign development assistance programs with measurable goals, performance metrics, and monitoring and evaluation plans.

The bill will also establish a public website with detailed information regarding U.S. foreign development assistance on a program-by-program and country-by-country basis, updated quarterly by all federal departments and agencies that administer U.S. foreign development assistance. After the House votes on H.R. 3159 today, it is expected to clear the Senate this week. 

"I am encouraged by USAID, the Millennium Challenge Corporation, and the numerous other U.S. development agencies that have taken this commitment seriously," added Beckmann. "However, with all of the federal agencies delivering U.S. foreign assistance, we pray that Congress will pass this bill to help standardize the monitoring and evaluation process of all of the agencies involved."

In addition to coordinating across agencies, the bill will enable American taxpayers, as well as the governments and citizens of partner countries, to access, track and compare comprehensive and timely U.S. foreign assistance data. The information will be soon publicly available through an online Foreign Assistance Dashboard. There, visitors will find country assistance strategies, annual budget documents, congressional budget justifications, obligations, expenditures, and reports and analysis for each program and project.

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