WASHINGTON, D.C. — Introduced to the House of Representatives in January 2017, H.Con.Res.6 expresses the agreement throughout Congress that the United States should annually provide “an amount equal to at least one percent of gross domestic product to nonmilitary foreign assistance programs.”
As stated in H.Con.Res.6 nonmilitary foreign assistance bill, Congress “recognizes that foreign assistance programs are of critical importance in promoting national security, demonstrating the humanitarian spirit of the people of the United States, and improving the credibility and standing of the United States in world affairs.”
Increased nonmilitary foreign aid aims to follow a principal objective of United States foreign policy, as outlined in the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961. This states that “the encouragement and sustained support of the people of developing countries in their efforts to acquire the knowledge and resources essential to development and to build the economic, political, and social institutions which will improve the quality of their lives.”
According to the United Nations Development Program’s 2015 Human Development Report, more than 1.5 billion people across 102 countries live in multidimensional poverty. Multidimensional poverty is defined as a measurement of poverty beyond annual income, considering factors such as health, education and standard of living.
The H.Con.Res.6 nonmilitary foreign assistance bill also solidifies the United States as an ally to all nations in empowering all peoples around the world for the betterment of humanity. The committee hopes to encourage other powerful nations to do the same.
The H.Con.Res.6 nonmilitary foreign assistance bill has since been referred to the House Committee on Foreign Affairs. The bill was originally introduced by Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA), who has served in Congress since 1997.
Between 1947-1951, the United States gave $13 billion, equivalent to approximately $140 billion in 2016, in economic aid to assist in the economic recovery of 16 European countries. The plan pursued global peace and increased domestic security within the United States through programs focusing on decreasing social, political, and economic decline.
In 2014, the United States was in 19th place behind most industrialized nations in foreign assistance funding focused on development as a percentage of gross national income, totaling $23.4 billion, about 0.19 percent.
In 2015, the gross national income of the United States was $18.14 trillion. If one percent of this were to go toward nonmilitary foreign aid, the United States would have spent $181.4 billion dollars in foreign aid to support development in countries worldwide.
As outlined in the H.Con.Res.6 nonmilitary foreign assistance bill: “poverty, lack of opportunity, and environmental degradation are recognized as significant contributors to socioeconomic and political instability, as well as to the exacerbation of disease pandemics and other global health threats.”
– Riley E Bunch