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U.S. Should Continue To Exhibit Bipartisan Leadership In Foreign Assistance Programs By Establishing Global Health Crisis Rapid Response Capacity

TIME: The Surprise Bipartisan Success Story of Congress: American Aid
Liz Schrayer, president and CEO of the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition

“‘Washington is broken, nothing is getting done’ is a mantra we hear often these days. Yet there is one issue that has continuously broken through in this Congress with bipartisan support: America’s foreign assistance programs. Five major pieces of bipartisan legislation on global development have been signed into law in less than two years — on food security, energy, rights for women and girls, water and sanitation, and aid transparency — all in an effort to advance America’s interests in the world. … Yet the latest Zika epidemic is a reminder that even global health issues can get caught up in partisan bickering. … The next Congress and administration should break this cycle of responding to global health crises one-by-one, effectively allowing them to become enmeshed in a broken Washington. We need to establish a smart and efficient rapid response capacity … that empowers our global health professionals to prevent and respond without the interference of partisan politics. … When it comes to America’s foreign assistance programs, it simply [is] not true that this is a ‘do-nothing Congress.’ … From energy and food security to rights for women and girls, Washington should be applauded for its leadership on foreign assistance and American engagement. It’s time to add on one more bipartisan victory with the fight against Zika…” (9/13).

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Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in Menlo Park, California.