I’m at Reagan Airport, on my way home from this year’s Bread for the World National Gathering in Washington DC. I spent yesterday on Capitol Hill, lobbying to reform foreign assistance. Currently the United States’ foreign assistance is governed by an outdated act written in 1961, and is coordinated by 60 different government offices.
At the Capitol, I met with staff of all 3 of my members of Congress – Sen. John Ensign (R-NV), Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV), and Rep. Dina Titus (D-NV). To my surprise, the offices of all 3 Congresspeople seemed to be initially receptive to the idea of foreign aid reform.
The momentum seems to be building inside Capitol for this to happen within the 110th Congress, but this depends on how quickly other acts of Congress take within the next few months – i.e. health care reform and the confirmation of Sotomayor as Supreme Court Justice. Rep. Berman (D-CA) and Rep. Kirk (R-IL) have already introducted the Initiating Foreign Assistance Reform Act into the House of Representatives (H.R. 2139), and a companion bill is expected to be introduced in the Sentate by Sen. John Kerry.