WASHINGTON — Less than five percent of bills and resolutions that pass through the House and Senate are enacted as laws. On average, each congressional session introduces over 13,000 bills. The following list contains information on recent, in progress U.S. foreign aid bills and resolutions introduced by members of the 116th Congress.
U.S. Foreign Aid Bills and Resolutions
- House Resolution 826: Sponsored by Rep. Christopher Smith (R-NJ), the End Neglected Tropical Diseases Act arrived in the House on Jan. 28, 2019. The purpose of the bill is to promote successful research on and treatment of neglected tropical diseases through united national and international efforts. The World Health Organization has acknowledged 17 neglected tropical diseases and two billion people are at risk of contracting at least one of these diseases, according to the bill.
- House Resolution 854: Sponsored by Rep. Debbie Mucarsel-Powell (D-FL), the Humanitarian Assistance to the Venezuelan People Act of 2019 was introduced Jan. 29, 2019. The act passed the House on March 25, 2019, and will be heading to the Senate next. It aims to provide humanitarian assistance to Venezuelan migrants and refugees.
- Senate Bill 368: Sponsored by Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), the Global Health, Empowerment and Rights Act arrived in the Senate on Feb. 7, 2019. This bill aims to disallow the deployment of restrictive requirements to foreign nongovernmental organizations with respect to the arrangement of aid such as health services. What this means is that nongovernmental organizations would not be blocked from federal funding based on certain eligibility requirements.
- House Resolution 189: Sponsored by Rep. Roger Marshall (R-KS), this resolution gives recognition to the U.S. in maintaining leadership in combating global maternal and childhood malnutrition and supporting USAID’s efforts to find solutions to global nutrition issues. The resolution arrived in the House on March 7, 2019. Malnutrition can have several negative and deadly effects such as decreased cognitive development in newborns, greater vulnerability to disease and other issues. Additionally, adults who were not malnourished as children earn nearly 46 percent more than their counterparts, according to the resolution. The key goals of this resolution are to improve the health of women and children in impoverished areas, help prevent illness and improve economic conditions in poorer countries.
- House Resolution 277: Sponsored by Rep. Nita Lowey (D-NY), this resolution upholds the prominence of the ability to obtain a quality education and enables the protection from attacks on education for children in high conflict zones. The act arrived in the House on April 1, 2019. As of February 2019, 142 million children around the world live in areas that the resolution deems are “high-intensity conflict zones.” The goals of this resolution are to provide proper nutrition, improve overall health, psychological and social support and improve sanitation and hygiene methods.
Because only a small percentage of bills become laws, it is unclear if these U.S. foreign aid bills and resolutions will ever be enacted. If they are, many people around the world will benefit from them. As more politicians cosponsor these bills and resolutions, it will become more likely that they will pass them and send them to the opposite chamber of Congress.
– Jodie Filenius