Courtesy of Sunshine State News - U.S. Rep. Ted Yoho, R-Fla., the chairman of the U.S. House Asia and Pacific Subcommittee, scored a win on Tuesday night as the House passed his proposal reforming how the federal government manages international development finances.The House passed Yoho’s “Better Utilization of Investments Leading to Development Act (BUILD Act)” on a voice vote. Yoho’s proposal streamlines a host of federal programs into a single development finance corporation. The Trump administration made a similar proposal in its FY 2019 budget request. Yoho rounded up more than 40 cosponsors for his bill with U.S. Rep. Adam Smith, D-Wash., as his main ally. The North Florida Republican weighed in after the vote on Tuesday.
“The BUILD Act is the most significant reform of America’s development finance system in decades,” Yoho said. “By streamlining our foreign assistance efforts, the United States will be more efficient and effective in how we target our foreign investments around the globe. By creating a modern, 21st century, development finance system that better utilizes private sector-led development; we will help countries build their economies so that they can transition from needing our assistance – to opening up their markets for our goods.“Taking countries from aid to trade is the end goal,” Yoho added. “We want to assist countries in becoming robust trading partners with the United States. There is truth to the saying, 'a rising tide lifts all boats.’ By doing so, we will help create stable, self-sufficient societies around the world and open new markets for U.S. goods and services. I’d like to thank Congressman Smith for his continued support as we take another step closer in signing the BUILD Act into law.”
“Passage of the BUILD Act is an important step to modernizing U.S. international development finance and showing that the United States is committed to leading the international community in supporting less developed countries,” Smith said. “I thank Congressman Yoho for his strong leadership moving this legislation forward. This new institution will focus on sustainable, broad-based development programs supporting critically needed projects in communities across the world. It strengthens our ability to support economic growth that ensures people have the opportunity to live healthy lives and achieve their fullest potential.“Make no mistake; this reform is only part of our commitment to providing help to those most in need around the world,” Smith continued. “We must take an all-in approach to our foreign assistance that includes robust direct assistance from the United States. I will continue to fight for these essential programs promoting health, peace, and stability that are vital to our national security.”
In the Florida delegation, U.S. Rep. Francis Rooney, R-Fla., who took over as vice chairman of the U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee from Yoho, and U.S. Rep. Dan Webster, R-Fla., cosponsored the proposal. Over in the Senate, Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Corker, R-Tenn., and U.S. Sen. Chris Coons, D-Del., introduced a similar proposal. Corker’s office insisted the new development finance corporation “will leverage the U.S. private sector’s expertise and investment capital to generate economic growth in the developing world that will support American interests.” U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., is a cosponsor.