On the Initial Aid Reform Bill

November 18, 2009 By Jordan Smith

Yesterday, the Kerry-Lugar-Menendez-Corker initial aid reform bill, S.1524, passed out of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee by a vote of 14-3. Voting against were Sens. Jim Webb (D-VA), Johnny Isakson (R-GA), and James Inhofe (R-OK).

As interesting as the vote were the comments by committee members. Chairman Kerry declared there was a need to “modernize and rebuild U.S. foreign assistance” and that “momentum on foreign assistance reform is reaching a crescendo.” Senator Menendez also released a statement, saying that he “remain[s] committed to continue to push for a strong, independent foreign assistance voice in the U.S. government and to ensure that USAID is an empowered, innovative, and first-class development agency.”

Next on tap: the confirmation hearing of Dr. Rajiv Shah to be USAID Administrator has been scheduled for Dec. 1.