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house Bill H.R. 3766

Does the Executive Branch Need to be More Transparent About Foreign Aid?

Argument in favor

The State Dept. and federal agencies that offer foreign aid need to be accountable for where that funding goes so the public can rest assured it's not being wasted.

BTSundra's Opinion
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02/06/2016
No more lying and hiding. We need as much transparency as possible.
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mcgovea's Opinion
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07/05/2016
This bill is not about transparency, it's about metrics. Budgets are already pretty transparent, but there are no standards for targets and goals. Non-governmental charities have already been emphasizing efficacy and measurement as a way to understand and maximize their impact. They aim to address the question: how do you know how well you're doing unless you look? This same approach should apply to governmental aid. This bill creates guidelines for goal setting, measurement, and reporting to understand and track the efficacy of foreign aid. That is an obvious win.
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Loraki's Opinion
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07/09/2016
The Executive Branch definitely needs to be more transparent about (almost) EVERYTHING (keeping in mind that old caveat, "Loose lips sink ships!")! The Obama Administration is the LEAST TRANSPARENT administration in the last 70 years, as far as I can remember. And the least CREDIBLE! Congress needs to demand much more transparency and accountability, although it is rather late in the game for the current POTUS. Such demands, moreover, need to be backed up by exercising the POWER OF THE PURSE! That means that the American people need to hold their MEMBERS OF CONGRESS fully accountable, as well! We MUST remind them that they are answerable to "We the People"! RESTORE THE BALANCE OF POWER! As for foreign aid, WE CANNOT AFFORD IT! Obama has seen to that! And God help us, if we elect Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, or some other socialist/globalist!!! That $19.1 TRILLION debt is accruing interest, meanwhile. . . .
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Argument opposed

Federal agencies that provide foreign aid, including the State Department, are already transparent about how that funding is spent.

Zachary's Opinion
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07/05/2016
I fail to see how yet another reporting requirement would improve anything; this information is already available to the public. This smacks of drumming up more uninformed and misplaced outrage at the minuscule amount of taxpayer money spent on foreign aid. It's just another layer of bureaucracy that would make an under-funded/staffed agency even less efficient.
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Scott's Opinion
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12/10/2015
This is nonsense. The public can do a google search and find out exactly how, where, and when, foreign aid is spent. This is just more anti government nonsense.
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singinghawk926's Opinion
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07/05/2016
There is a 17-page document accessible on the website of USAID that outlines the reporting requirements for all recipients of aid through that federal program -- reports are expected quarterly. In addition, the State Department prepares another huge document detailing foreign aid disbursements and their uses, including all USAID money, which is private not government sourced. These documents are readily available online. I fail to see why a bill needs to be passed in Congress to demand reporting that is already being done openly and transparently.
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bill Progress


  • EnactedJuly 15th, 2016
    The President signed this bill into law
  • The senate Passed June 28th, 2016
    Passed by Voice Vote
  • The house Passed December 8th, 2015
    Passed by Voice Vote
      house Committees
      Committee on Foreign Affairs
    IntroducedOctober 20th, 2015

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What is House Bill H.R. 3766?

This bill seeks to bring more transparency to how foreign aid is monitored. It directs the President to create a set of guidelines and performance goals for evaluating U.S. foreign development and economic assistance. Those guidelines would then have to be reported to Congress.

Every federal department or agency that administers U.S. foreign development and economic assistance would have to report comprehensive information about their programs to the State Dept. — who would then be responsible for putting that information on their website (ForeignAssistance.gov).

Impact

Citizens interested in how the federal government spends foreign aid dollars, agencies and departments that distribute foreign aid, and the State Department.

Cost of House Bill H.R. 3766

The CBO estimates that implementing this legislation would cost less than $500,000 over the 2016-2020 period.

More Information

In-Depth: Sponsoring Rep. Ted Poe (R-TX) believes that “it is time to modernize and reform the outdated foreign aid program” in order to improve transparency and eliminate waste:

“Under the current system, billions of taxpayer dollars are sent to a majority of the countries in the world, and no one really knows how efficient or effective that aid is. Implementing a system to evaluate the success (or failure) of each program will increase both learning and accountability, making the program stronger. It is also important for Americans to know exactly where their money is sent.”

This bill currently has 20 cosponsors in the House including five Democrats and 12 Republicans, and the House Foreign Affairs Committee reported this legislation by unanimous consent.


Media:

Summary by Eric Revell
(Photo Credit: Flickr user US Embassy Kathmandu)

AKA

Foreign Aid Transparency and Accountability Act of 2016

Official Title

A bill to direct the President to establish guidelines for covered United States foreign assistance programs, and for other purposes.

    No more lying and hiding. We need as much transparency as possible.
    Like (22)
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    I fail to see how yet another reporting requirement would improve anything; this information is already available to the public. This smacks of drumming up more uninformed and misplaced outrage at the minuscule amount of taxpayer money spent on foreign aid. It's just another layer of bureaucracy that would make an under-funded/staffed agency even less efficient.
    Like (5)
    Follow
    Share
    This bill is not about transparency, it's about metrics. Budgets are already pretty transparent, but there are no standards for targets and goals. Non-governmental charities have already been emphasizing efficacy and measurement as a way to understand and maximize their impact. They aim to address the question: how do you know how well you're doing unless you look? This same approach should apply to governmental aid. This bill creates guidelines for goal setting, measurement, and reporting to understand and track the efficacy of foreign aid. That is an obvious win.
    Like (13)
    Follow
    Share
    This is nonsense. The public can do a google search and find out exactly how, where, and when, foreign aid is spent. This is just more anti government nonsense.
    Like (5)
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    Share
    When it comes to the federal government giving aid to foreign countries, there is no reason why the public should not know where funds are actually going.
    Like (4)
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    The Executive Branch definitely needs to be more transparent about (almost) EVERYTHING (keeping in mind that old caveat, "Loose lips sink ships!")! The Obama Administration is the LEAST TRANSPARENT administration in the last 70 years, as far as I can remember. And the least CREDIBLE! Congress needs to demand much more transparency and accountability, although it is rather late in the game for the current POTUS. Such demands, moreover, need to be backed up by exercising the POWER OF THE PURSE! That means that the American people need to hold their MEMBERS OF CONGRESS fully accountable, as well! We MUST remind them that they are answerable to "We the People"! RESTORE THE BALANCE OF POWER! As for foreign aid, WE CANNOT AFFORD IT! Obama has seen to that! And God help us, if we elect Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, or some other socialist/globalist!!! That $19.1 TRILLION debt is accruing interest, meanwhile. . . .
    Like (4)
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    Don't we have three branches of government? Has anybody else noticed how many times "executive branch" has been mentioned when it comes to decision-making? What's going on here?????????
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    There is a 17-page document accessible on the website of USAID that outlines the reporting requirements for all recipients of aid through that federal program -- reports are expected quarterly. In addition, the State Department prepares another huge document detailing foreign aid disbursements and their uses, including all USAID money, which is private not government sourced. These documents are readily available online. I fail to see why a bill needs to be passed in Congress to demand reporting that is already being done openly and transparently.
    Like (3)
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    Transparency is an essential part of maintaining accountability in government
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    Transparent? Even translucent would be a huge improvement! How about NO handouts to non-citizens!
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    Every dime stolen from citizens must be given a report of who what when where why and how. This must also be made public.
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    When we have government that is of the people, for the people, and by the people, then people deserve to know where their money goes. We are paying the Executive branch to perform a function, and how are we supposed to make changes if we don't know what's going on in the first place? Transparency is of the utmost importance.
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    There shouldn't be any foreign aid. We're bankrupt. Why do we always have to serve others? They will never learn on their own when money keeps coming in. Plus most of our aid goes to the political elites for partying.
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    Transparency could improve in almost all areas of government. Unless it is a matter of security, all government policies should be 100% transparent without exception.
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    Transparency is the root of trust. The executive branch often forgets who they work for. Our nations government has struggled through some difficult times as late, and trust that the peoples wishes are not being represented
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    Those currently in power seem to want everything about our society to be open, except of course for their own books. However, since this is the "most transparent administration in history", I'm sure the President will sign this bill post haste;) Considering the complicated entanglements involving the former Secretary and her family's foundation, I'd say more transparency is sorely needed.
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    The fact that people actually think this bill means anything is scary. Don't be stupid... they keep secrets... we have no idea. They steal from us everyday. They slowly whittle away at our rights and they throw our money down the drain. They literally lie to our face about employment rates. So don't be stupid.
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    We can always do more to increase transparency and we always should do more
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    Could be a potential national security risk.
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    What part of it is cloaked in mystery now?
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