Ideas to Action:

Independent research for global prosperity

US Development Policy

CGD experts track US development policy and offer ideas and analysis to improve its impact on developing countries. Also check out our Views from the Center blog and Global Health Policy blog.

 

There Is an Emerging Trump Philosophy for Foreign Assistance

The Trump administration has had very little to say about foreign assistance, apparently preferring to let the budget knife do its talking. But if we want to discern some sort of guiding philosophy to aid coming from this White House, perhaps we should look no further than aid to Israel and Egypt, the number one and number two overall US foreign aid recipients. In a budget that imposes double-digit cuts to programs aimed at disease eradication and response to humanitarian crises, military aid to these two countries has been cut not even by a whisker.

Congress Sets Course for Foreign Aid Spending through September

Congress has officially wrapped up the FY2017 appropriations process—a mere seven months behind schedule. Much has changed since last fall, including the rhetoric on US foreign aid spending from the sitting administration. And big questions have been swirling about whether the bipartisan consensus in Congress on the importance of effective foreign assistance will hold in this new environment. At least in very short term, the answer appears to be yes.

Cuts to the 150 Account: Searching for a Constructive Path Forward in Foreign Aid

With major cuts to foreign assistance expected in the Trump administration’s budget preview later this week, CGD’s US Development Policy Initiative hosted experts from across the political spectrum to discuss what these cuts might mean. In a heated debate (well, at least for a think tank event), CGD’s Scott Morris, CAP’s John Norris, AEI’s Danielle Pletka, and Heritage’s Jim Roberts found a few areas of agreement, if more in the way of constructive suggestions to Congress and the Administration on ways forward.

SFRC on the Future of MCC

Earlier this week, CGD president Nancy Birdsall testified before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee at a hearing on the Millennium Challenge Corporation.  A main impetus for the hearing was the introduction this summer of legislation (S. 1605) that would enable MCC to pursue regionally-focused investments with eligible countries.  The hearing itself, however, was wide-ranging, covering the “current operations and authority” of MCC. 

USAID Administrator Nomination Hearing Wednesday

Congress has not exactly had an impressive track record on confirmations for the past few years. So when Raj Shah stepped down as USAID Administrator in December 2014, many at CGD and elsewhere bemoaned the possibility of an empty top slot at the agency for the remainder of the administration. But President Obama and the Senate Foreign Relations Committee proved the cynics wrong by quickly appointing National Security Council Senior Director Gayle Smith and scheduling a nomination hearing this Wednesday, respectively.

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