Senate Committee To Markup Foreign Aid Reform Bill

The Senate Foreign Relations Committee is set to “mark up the Kerry-Lugar foreign aid reform bill Tuesday,” Foreign Policy’s blog, “The Cable” reports. It is one of “several foreign-aid reform bills in play, [and] is seen as a strong but relatively modest attempt to increase the power and stature of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). It would, among other things, restore USAID’s policy-planning staff and create new oversight and accountability mechanisms to watch over foreign-assistance programs government-wide,” writes the blog.

According to “The Cable,” the State Department had asked Congress to “hold off” of on marking up the bill until “State’s Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review (QDDR), and to a lesser degree the National Security Council’s President Study Directive (PSD)” are complete.

“Although the long-awaited nomination of Rajiv Shah to be USAID administrator didn’t factor into the committee’s decision to move the bill (committee staff say the timing was purely based on logistics), they do view his still-undecided role as a barometer of how much Congress will need to weigh in,” according to the blog. After the markup of the bill, the committee will “move to confirm Shah, probably in early December.” The post includes some discussion about the outlook for the QDDR and PSD reviews (Rogin, 11/16).

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