While U.S. Rep. Ted Yoho, R-Fla., is in his last year in Congress, he is seeing some of the fruits of his efforts to reform foreign aid.
Back in 2018, Yoho, then the chairman of the U.S. House Asia and Pacific Subcommittee, managed to get his “Better Utilization of Investments Leading to Development Act (BUILD Act)” reforming how the federal government manages international development finances signed into law by President Donald Trump. Yoho’s proposal streamlined a host of federal programs into a single development finance corporation. The Trump administration made a similar proposal in its FY 2019 budget request. Yoho rounded up more than 40 cosponsors for his bill with U.S. Rep. Adam Smith, D-Wash., as his main ally.
Over in the U.S. Senate, Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Corker, R-Tenn., and U.S. Sen. Chris Coons, D-Del., introduced a similar proposal. Corker’s office insisted the new development finance corporation “will leverage the U.S. private sector’s expertise and investment capital to generate economic growth in the developing world that will support American interests.”
Yoho looked back on his achievement this week as the White House unveiled its budget proposal which funds the U.S. Development Finance Corporation (DFC) created under the BUILD Act.
“I applaud the administration’s continued prioritization of the new U.S. Development Finance Corporation in the FY21 budget request,” Yoho said. “The bipartisan passage of the Better Utilization of Investments Leading to Development Act was one of the most significant foreign aid reforms of the last several decades, and the DFC represents a critically needed new tool for advancing U.S. foreign policy interests and achieving expanded development impact. In order to achieve the mandates and strategic vision of the BUILD Act, the DFC must be properly resourced.:
Yoho also had “strong praise” for Trump wanting to fully fund the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization (Gavi).
“Gavi already has successfully transitioned fifteen countries from aid to trade, with three more expected by the end of next year and an additional ten in the next 5-year period. Gavi also serves as a model for other international organizations through Gavi’s utilization of market forces and private sector partnerships to drive down costs and to develop and deliver new and underused vaccines,” Yoho said. “By committing $290 million to Gavi in the fiscal year 2021 budget request, the President has sent a strong and clear message to hold international organizations to the highest standards when it comes to their effectiveness and the advancement of U.S. interests.”
First elected to Congress in 2012, Yoho is sticking to his campaign promise to serve only four terms. He sits on the U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee where he previously served as vice-chairman.
Reach Kevin Derby at firstname.lastname@example.org.