H.R. 3766, Foreign Aid Transparency and Accountability Act, as amended

H.R. 3766

Foreign Aid Transparency and Accountability Act, as amended

Sponsor
Rep. Ted Poe

Date
December 8, 2015 (114th Congress, 1st Session)

Staff Contact
Communications

Floor Situation

On Tuesday, December 8, 2015, the House will consider H.R. 3766, the Foreign Aid Transparency and Accountability Act, as amended, under suspension of the rules.  H.R. 3766 was introduced on October 20, 2015 by Rep. Ted Poe (R-TX) and was referred to the Committee on Foreign Affairs, which ordered the bill reported by unanimous consent on November 5, 2015.

Bill Summary

H.R. 3766 requires the President, within 18 months of enactment, to issue guidelines establishing measurable goals, performance metrics, and plans for monitoring and evaluating foreign aid programs that provide development or economic assistance. The bill requires the President and Government Accountability office to report to Congress on the guidelines within 18 months of enactment.  The bill further requires the Department of State to make publicly available on its foreign assistance website comprehensive, timely, and comparable information on U.S. foreign development and economic assistance programs, including that required by the bill.  The bill also requires other federal departments and agencies that implement foreign assistance programs to provide that information to the State Department for inclusion on its website.

Background

U.S. foreign assistance “is aid given by the United States to other countries to support global peace, security, and development efforts, and provide humanitarian relief during times of crisis.”[1] The U.S. manages foreign assistance programs “in more than 100 countries around the world through the efforts of over 20 different U.S. Government agencies. These investments further America’s foreign policy interests on issues ranging from expanding free markets, combating extremism, ensuring stable democracies, and addressing the root causes of poverty, while simultaneously fostering global good will.”[2]

H.R. 3766 is designed to ensure reliable and publically-available information on all U.S. foreign aid programs and increase transparency in the administration of those programs.  According to the bill’s sponsor, “It is time to modernize and reform the outdated foreign aid program. Under the current system, billions of taxpayer dollars are sent to a majority of the countries in the world, and no one really knows how efficient or effective that aid is. Implementing a system to evaluate the success (or failure) of each program will increase both learning and accountability, making the program stronger.  It is also important for Americans to know exactly where their money is sent.”[3]

______________________
[1] http://beta.foreignassistance.gov/
[2] Id.

[3] See Press Release—“Rubio, Cardin, Poe, and Connolly introduce bipartisan, bicameral foreign aid reform bill,” October 20, 2015.

Cost

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates that implementing H.R. 3766, as ordered reported by the Committee on Foreign Affairs, would cost less than $500,000 over the 2016 to 2020 period. Enacting H.R. 3766 would not affect direct spending or revenues; therefore, pay-as-you-go procedures do not apply.

Additional Information

For questions or further information please contact Jerry White with the House Republican Policy Committee by email or at 5-0190.