Chairman Ed Royce Calls for Aid Reform in Africa

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WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Representative Ed Royce of California’s 39th District, the current Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, has a long and storied career in public service. Beginning in 1982 as a state senator for southern California, Representative Royce authored the nation’s first anti-stalker bill. Since then, his interests have transitioned to international issues and, serving his 11th term in Congress, he is a staunch supporter of the Food Aid Reform Act, which currently faces stiff opposition in the House.

Ed Royce is no stranger to standing up for change, even if he has to do so alone. Over 30 years ago, Representative Royce’s anti-stalker bill was the first of its kind in America. Now, all 50 states boast versions of that original bill. Later in his career, Royce was the first legislator to call for a single regulator under the Treasury Department for the three housing government sponsored entities: Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and the twelve Federal Home Loan Banks. The Congressman has had a storied career in pushing for important national legislation.

From 1997 to 2004, Representative Royce chaired the Africa Subcommittee and, in his more recent work in Congress, Royce has advocated for the importance of Africa in U.S. foreign policy. Moreover, Royce underscores the importance of efficient and effective aid for Africa. His is a strong supporter for immediate passage of H.R. 1983, the Food Aid Reform Act currently in the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee.

Congressman Royce recognizes that aid to Africa not only supports Africans in the fight against global poverty, but also revitalizes consumer markets in countries that purchase goods from the United States. Historical data shows that most of those aid recipient countries in the past have since become consumers of American goods. The initial investment, as it turns out, acts as a catalyst to establish sustainable middle-class markets that demand U.S. products.

Representative Royce’s supports the Food Aid Reform Act because, by ending the current practice of purchasing food at a premium in the United States and sending it abroad on ocean vessels, , the U.S. can use cheaper alternatives that benefit recipient countries more. The bill would allow food destined for relief areas to be purchased from nearby, local farmers at a much cheaper price and transported over a much shorter distance.

Emphasizing the importance of passing this bill, Congressman Royce said, “The system through which the United States provides food aid to those facing starvation is needlessly inefficient and ineffective. Especially given the current fiscal environment, it is critical that we enable the U.S. to reach two million more people while reducing mandatory spending by $500 million over ten years. The facts speak for themselves.”

Currently, the prognosis from Govtrack.us holds the bill at a 47% of passing the House.

– Herman Watson

Source: Chairman Ed Royce, House Foreign Affairs Committee, American Jewish World Service
Photo: Jewish Journal

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