Friday, August 1, 2008

The Global Poverty Act

The Global Poverty Act (S. 2433) awaits passage by the full Senate. It is a bill that has to be passed before the current session ends this month, or the process will have to start all over again in the next Congress. It has already passed the full House and the Foriegn Relations Committe and Senate leadership needs public support to move this bill to the floor for full Senate consideration.

The success of the Global Poverty Act depends upon increased bipartisan cosponsorship of the legislation. The bill currently has 31 cosponsors, 26 Democrats and 5 Republicans.

Bread for the World Bread, a Christian organization advocating for changes in public policy to fight world wide hunger and poverty, is leading the charge in getting public support for passage of this bill. Bread for the World, is led by David Beckman a leading voice in the fight against hunger.

At present United States global development policies and programs fall under the purview of more than 25 different federal agencies. The Global Poverty Act, looks to increase coordination, provide clarity and accountibility to make our government's foriegn assistance programs more effective. The act calls for the president to develop and implement strategically coordinated efforts which will enable U.S. aid, debt relief and trade policies to help achieve a goal of cutting in half the number of people who live on less than $1 a day by 2015. The legislation would also require regular reports to Congress on our country's efforts to fight extreme hunger around the world.

The Global Poverty Act establishes no new programs. It recognizes, however, that without combining, good trade policy, debt cancellation, and public-private partnerships, extreme hunger and poverty cannot seriously be dealt with. The Congressional Budget Office estimates that this legislation would cost less than $1 million to implement.

I think it is time that we understand that doing all that we can to eliminate extreme hunger and poverty makes good sense in every way that relates to our national interest.

Find out more information on Bread for the World's website: http://www.bread.org/take-action/call-congress-today.html

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