Blog Posts Discuss Foreign Aid, Development Under Second Obama Administration, New Leadership In Congress

After President Barack Obama’s re-election on Tuesday, the following blog posts discussed how a second Obama administration and congressional leadership changes might affect foreign aid and development.

  • Mark Lotwis, Devex: Lotwis, senior director of public policy at InterAction, asks, “What will the legacy of President Barack Obama be for international development?” He says the administration should quickly nominate a replacement for Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who has indicated she will resign; “urge Congress to adopt the Senate Appropriations Committee-approved funding levels for the international affairs account and ensure that, if there are cuts, poverty accounts are not cut disproportionately compared to other discretionary spending”; work with the non-profit community on development assistance; and “be bolder in its commitments to reduce extreme poverty worldwide” through programs such as Feed the Future (11/7).
  • Christine Lubinski, Center for Global Health Policy’s “Science Speaks” blog: Contributor Lubinski examines what President Obama’s re-election and several changes in Senate and House committee leadership could mean for foreign policy and aid. She writes Obama’s win means “plans to follow a global AIDS blueprint due to be released World AIDS Day remain on track” and the so-called “‘Mexico City Policy’ restricting how U.S. family planning dollars could be spent overseas … will remain off the books.” She continues, “It remains to be seen however, if Obama’s victory will be seen as a mandate that will allow the funding commitment to back the blueprint up” (11/8).
  • Kim Lufkin, Global Health Technologies Coalition’s “Breakthroughs” blog: GHTC Communications Officer Lufkin writes, “With the results of the presidential and congressional elections now almost two days behind us, there has been increasing reaction and speculation about what President Barack Obama’s second term and new congressional leadership could mean for foreign policy, international development, and global health.” She summarizes several blogs and articles that have written about these issues (11/8).
  • Ivy Mungcal, Devex’s “Pennsylvania Ave.” blog: Blog contributor Mungcal says budget negotiations surrounding discussions of sequestration and cuts are “one of the Obama administration’s biggest challenges.” She summarizes several foreign aid-related blog posts and adds, “Another theme that cuts across these various calls from aid groups and development organizations: Strengthen key initiatives such as the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, Global Health Initiative and Feed the Future.” Mungcal says other issues highlighted by some organizations include climate change and USAID reform, and she discusses potential changes in congressional committee leadership positions (11/8).
  • Rolf Rosenkranz, Devex’s “Pennsylvania Ave.” blog: In two separate posts, blog contributor Rosenkranz interviews Katie Porter, CARE USA’s deputy director of government relations, and Alan Chvotkin, executive vice president and counsel at the Professional Services Council, about their thoughts on foreign aid under a second Obama administration. Porter said, “We all hope they’ll continue to be bold, maybe even bolder,” but with a divided Congress “it’s going to be hard to know how to prioritize without knowing what the budget’s going to look like” (11/8). Chvotkin “told Devex … that while procurement reforms started by USAID Administrator Rajiv Shah are expected to continue, a comprehensive revamp of the Foreign Assistance Act that Democrat Rep. Howard Berman of California has been pushing for is not likely to happen,” the blog notes (11/8).
  • Alanna Shaikh, U.N. Dispatch: Global health expert Shaikh writes, “President Obama’s re-election means that several recent international development initiatives from his administration suddenly have four more years to bear fruit,” including Feed the Future and USAID Forward. Though it is a “disappointment” that “[t]he president’s Global Health Initiative (GHI) has already come to an end as a stand-alone effort that the State Department office eliminated, … it is also a unique opportunity to improve health in middle-income countries,” she says and expands on the opportunity. “Done well, an office of Global Health Diplomacy [at the State Department] could re-establish American leadership on global health and get middle-income countries to take health seriously as part of their path to prosperity,” she concludes (11/8).

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