WASHINGTON—Representatives Nita Lowey (D-NY17), Harold “Hal” Rogers (R-KY5), Eliot Engel (D-NY16), and Ed Royce (R-CA39), sent a letter today to Mick Mulvaney, Director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), on the Office’s role in the reorganization of the U.S. State Department and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). The letter was prompted by recent reports that State and USAID are scheduled to turn over their recommendations for reorganization this week.
“We firmly believe that reforming the diplomatic and development architecture of the United States should enhance – not impede – the ability of the State Department and USAID to advance our most pressing foreign policy priorities,” the Members wrote. “Smart investments in diplomacy and development can help accelerate economic growth, create opportunity, prevent the spread of infectious diseases, stabilize communities, and mitigate the need for costly military interventions that put our Armed Forces in harm’s way. Poor planning and execution can have the exact opposite effect.”
“Congress has a critical role to play in the ongoing reform process. Without Congressional assent, reform will not be sustainable over the long-term. Though we have held periodic meetings with teams from the State Department and USAID, we have yet to engage with OMB on the role that it will play in this process. Toward this end, and consistent with the requirements of Section 7076(a)(2) of the Fiscal Year 2017 Consolidated Appropriations Act, we request that you and your colleagues brief us as soon as possible on the role you intend to play and your work to date; share with the appropriate Congressional committees the submissions by the State Department and USAID required pursuant to Executive Order 13781 of March 13, 2017; and engage directly and often with Congress before taking any actions to implement reform proposals that affect the instruments of U.S. foreign diplomacy and development,” the Members concluded.
Lowey is the Ranking Member and Rogers is the Chairman of the House State and Foreign Operations (SFOPS) Appropriations Subcommittee. Engel is the Ranking Member and Royce is the Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee. The House Appropriations and Foreign Affairs Committees are responsible for funding and overseeing the work of State and USAID.
The full text of the letter can be read here.
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