SEATTLE, Washington — In the United States, hyperpolarization in the political conversation is the cause of much division and anger. However, despite a pressurized political climate, bipartisan efforts to end global poverty do exist, even in Congress. In the House of Representatives, heated debate and rigid voting along party lines contribute to more ingrained partisanship. However, when it comes to using the vast resources of the United States to end global poverty, Republican and Democrat lawmakers often find common ground. Bipartisan House duo , Rep. Susan Brooks and Rep. Dean Phillips, have been instrumental in cosponsoring key pieces of anti-poverty legislation.
Bipartisan Efforts: Rep. Susan Brooks (R) and Rep. Dean Phillips (D)
Representing Indiana’s 5th District, Rep. Susan Brooks uses her background as an attorney and educator to focus her lawmaking efforts on improving the country’s education system and jobs market. Despite running on a platform largely concentrated on domestic affairs, her actions in the House reveal a broader concern about bipartisan efforts to end global poverty.
On the other side of the aisle, Rep. Dean Phillips has demonstrated a similar interest in ensuring that the United States shares its resources to develop the world beyond its borders. Representing the 3rd District of Minnesota, Rep. Dean serves on the House Ethics, Financial Services and Foreign Affairs Committees. With his work in the Foreign Affairs Committee, Rep. Dean is well-positioned to influence United States foreign policy to focus more on global poverty.
Both Rep. Brooks and Rep. Phillips use their positions in Congress to further bipartisan efforts to end global poverty. There are five key global poverty-ending House bills that the bipartisan duo has recently cosponsored.
5 Cosponsored Bills that Fight Poverty
The Youth, Peace, and Security Act of 2020 stipulates that the State Department must lead a whole-of-government strategy to ensure that youth participate in peacebuilding and conflict resolution abroad. The bill seeks to accomplish this goal through the provision of grants and technical assistance to youth-led organizations in conflict zones.
The next bill is the Global Child Thrive Act of 2020. This bill, which has already passed the House, funds a variety of programs that assist vulnerable children in developing nations. The programs aim to prevent family-child separation and help improve the child-care protection services of developing nations.
Rep. Brooks and Rep. Phillips have also cosponsored the Malala Yousafzai Scholarship Act, which passed the House in early March. This bill requires that the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) awards at least half of its scholarships of the Merit and Needs-Based Scholarship Program to Pakistani women through 2022.
Related to this bill is the Keeping Girls in School Act, which mandates that USAID enters into financing agreements to bring down the various cultural and health barriers that often prevent girls from accessing quality secondary education.
Finally, the United States-Northern Triangle Enhanced Engagement Act requires that the State Department devise a comprehensive strategy to address economic development and corruption reduction in the “Northern Triangle” countries of El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras.
Taken together, these House bills represent a broad effort to combat various forms of poverty all around the world, from unequal access to education to corrupt governments that mismanage the impoverished situation of countries. With bipartisan support, these bills have the potential to become law and positively impact the lives of those who suffer in poverty abroad.
The Promise of Bipartisanship
In the legislative system of the United States, cooperation between the two major parties is crucial in making progress on key issues. Rep. Brooks and Rep. Phillips cosponsoring multiple bills aimed at reducing global poverty demonstrates that there is much hope for the future of cooperation and inter-party dialogue in the United States, especially when it comes to important issues like addressing global poverty.
– John Andrikos