Press Releases

United States Representatives Ander Crenshaw (R-FL) and Adam Smith (D-WA), Co-Chairman of the Congressional Caucus for Effective Foreign Assistance, today (12/12) applauded the introduction of the Global Partnerships Act of 2012, H.R. 6644 as an important step in moving the debate forward on how to make foreign assistance more effective, transparent, and accountable.
Following the introduction of the bill on Wednesday, December 12 by Howard Berman, Ranking Member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Crenshaw and Smith issued the following statement:
“As Co-Chairs of the Caucus, we applaud Congressman Berman’s efforts, with the introduction of the Global Partnerships Act of 2012, to lay out a foundation for true progress in the delivery of foreign assistance.  Using the successful and proven models of innovative programs like PEPFAR and the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC), the Global Partnerships Act outlines a comprehensive framework to transform the donor-recipient relationship to one of equal partners working toward mutually agreed and mutually beneficial goals. 
“More importantly, the proposal shifts reliance on foreign assistance decisions to our local partners and our own development professionals and seeks an outcome-oriented process where the focus is on what we achieve.  Like the models noted above, this new framework holds both sides accountable for results.  We should expect nothing less from the valuable resources the American people contribute to foreign assistance.
“In light of negotiations to avert a fiscal cliff and attempts to get spending under control, foreign assistance dollars have once again come under attack, with some arguing that the United States can no longer afford it.  We must not lose sight of the fact that foreign assistance makes up only one percent of the federal budget. Simply eliminating these essential programs does not solve our fiscal problems. 
“Our security and economy benefit from peace and prosperity in the rest of the world.  With effective foreign assistance, the United States can advance its interests and enhance national security by promoting stability through protecting basic individual rights, providing for essential human needs, resolving conflicts peacefully, and seeing that resources are used wisely.
“Our development policies and delivery of assistance abroad are improving, but there is still much more to be done.  By advancing the debate on this issue, we can move toward better coordination at home and internationally by clarifying roles and identifying effective strategies.” 
BACKGROUND:  Crenshaw and Smith launched the Congressional Caucus for Effective Foreign Assistance in May of 2012.  Created for the purposes of examining the way the United States currently delivers foreign assistance, the Caucus will continue to explore success stories found in the efficient delivery of assistance with the goal of helping to further the overall effectiveness of foreign assistance.

House Armed Services Committee Ranking Member Adam Smith (WA-09) released the following statement in recognition of World AIDS Day:

“On World AIDS Day, we stand with the millions of people living with HIV and AIDS across the globe, reflect on the progress we have made, and continue to advance the fight against the disease.

“Combating AIDS is a shared responsibility.  Our country and the global community have made incredible strides over the last 30 years in the battle against HIV and AIDS, but there are still an estimated 34 million people worldwide and over 1 million people in the United States living with HIV.  Investment in medical research, regular HIV testing, increased access to treatment, and education about preventing the spread of HIV are absolutely critical in creating an AIDS-free generation.

“Today, we reflect and celebrate our achievements, but also remember that we must strive towards our goal of ridding the world of HIV/AIDS each and every day.“

Three years ago today, Washington state faced a tragedy when four police officers were shot and killed as they prepared for the day ahead.  Investigation later revealed that the individual who murdered the officers was a convicted felon on parole and that relevant information was not effectively transmitted to the proper authorities.

Today, Representatives Adam Smith (WA-09) and Dave Reichert (WA-08) introduced the Department of Justice (DOJ) Global Advisory Committee (GAC) Authorization Act to improve information sharing between all local, state, and federal law enforcement across the country.

“As a former cop and sheriff, I know that the more information law enforcement agents have, the better they can do their jobs,” said Reichert, the former Sheriff of King County who served 33 years in law enforcement.  “This bill will improve communication among members of law enforcement and enhance the security of communities across the country.  When the lives of cops and citizens are at stake, law enforcement officers must have all available information at their disposal so that they may effectively serve and protect the well-being of those citizens who count on them every day and to safeguard their colleagues."

This legislation would continue to provide technical and financial support for GAC. The bill would also add a new requirement that the Attorney General (AG) issue a report to Congress detailing GAC’s review and their suggestions to improve data interoperability and information sharing policies.

"Information sharing between all levels of law enforcement plays a critical role in keeping our nation safe," Smith said. "This bill can only help move that process forward."

GAC, which consists of over 30 representatives from law enforcement and criminal justice organizations, advises the AG on how to improve best practices and information sharing within the law enforcement community.  The committee provides a forum to discuss strategies and potential solutions to keep our communities safe.

House Armed Services Committee Ranking Member Adam Smith (WA-09) released the following statement on escalating violence in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC):

"I condemn the ongoing violence in Eastern Congo and the March 23 Movement (M23) takeover of Goma.  M23 rebels are responsible for war crimes, and countless attacks against innocent women and children.  Their actions in Goma and continued ambition to seize cities in the east and across the country stand in violation of international law and could potentially destabilize the region at large.

“The United States and the United Nations must continue to actively engage leaders in the international community to work towards a solution to this conflict.  It is critical that the people in the DRC are protected and rebel groups are prevented from wreaking further havoc in this vulnerable part of the world."

"Today's ceasefire between Israel and Hamas is a positive step in the right direction toward ending the rocket fire into Israel, which has gone on far too long.  I applaud Hillary Clinton, the Obama Administration, and the Egyptian Government for brokering this agreement.

"It is a fragile agreement, however, and continued US involvement is critical to achieve lasting long-term stability in the region.  In order for the ceasefire to hold, Hamas must stop firing rockets into Israel and the U.S. must continue to ensure Israel's right to self-defense, particularly through Iron Dome.  This agreement and additional assistance to support joint U.S.-Israeli missile defense efforts are absolutely critical to regional stability.

"Both the Israelis and the Palestinians have suffered far too long in this conflict.  We must use this ceasefire as an opportunity to work together to find lasting peace in the region."