Washington, D.C. – Congressman Adam Smith, Co-Founder and Co-Chair of the Congressional Caucus on Effective Foreign Assistance, and fellow Co-Chair Congressman Ted Yoho (R-FL) have introduced H.R. 5105 – the Better Utilization of Investments Leading to Development (BUILD) Act of 2018. Senators Chris Coons (D-DE) and Senate Foreign Relations Chairman Bob Corker (R-TN) have introduced companion legislation in the Senate. Congressman Smith had these comments following introduction yesterday:
“The United States has a proud history of leading the international community in helping others during times of conflict, strife, and instability – times when people are in need of urgent humanitarian assistance. Since World War II, the United States has invested and supported economic growth in countries all around the world to ensure that people have the opportunity to live healthy lives and achieve their fullest potential. Through our partnerships with friends and allies, we work to raise up local communities – strengthening institutions, combating hunger and disease, and ensuring that development projects have sustainable, long lasting impacts.
“This legislation will strengthen the ability of the United States to promote critically needed projects in low- and lower-middle income nations. It streamlines authorities from other agencies into one central institution. U.S. diplomats and development officers working overseas will have one-stop-shop access to a suite of tools to help empower local communities, bringing technical assistance and partnerships to tackle their biggest humanitarian and development challenges.
“To be clear – this initiative does not represent a shift away from grant-based direct assistance. Our commitment to providing help to those most in need remains unwavering. Investments in foreign assistance are a critical component of our overall national security, and I will continue to fight for these essential programs. The United States is uniquely positioned to help promote peace and stability, and the new International Development Finance Corporation (IDFC) will be at the forefront of helping nations transition into active participants in global markets.”