Rep. McCaul: “The U.S. Must Consistently Prove Itself to be the Preferred Partner for the Developing World”Press Release
Washington, D.C.- Yesterday, House Foreign Affairs Committee Lead Republican Michael McCaul delivered the following opening statement at a full committee hearing on the Biden Administration’s FY22 Budget Request for the Peace Corps, Development Finance Corporation, and Millennium Challenge Corporation.
-Opening Remarks as Delivered-
Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I want to thank our distinguished witnesses for joining us here today.
Our world is certainly facing significant challenges, and all three of your organizations are key, I think, in facing that.
The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic is still wreaking havoc around the world.
Rising instability and political turmoil have become the new norm. The military coup in Sudan this week is the third one in Africa this year alone.
The disastrous withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan has emboldened terrorists, while creating a safe haven for them to grow and plan attacks against the United States and our allies.
All the while, the Chinese Communist Party’s malign influence continues to grow and threaten our democratic values.
That’s why – as the world’s largest donor of foreign assistance – the United States needs to best implement our international development efforts so they have the most positive and strategic impact.
The three agencies represented here today are critical components of America’s foreign policy assistance efforts.
This year, the Peace Corps, started by President Kennedy, celebrates its 60th anniversary – so congratulations Ms. Spahn and to the Peace Corps and all of your officers on this milestone event.
And I want to thank the incredible Peace Corps volunteers – especially those from my home state of Texas – who have selflessly given their time to do good work for other human beings across the world.
And your agency still has work to do.
Tragically, the number of volunteers reporting sexual assault during their service has risen, and I know that you are addressing that.
The agency has failed to complete action on key recommendations issued by its Office of the Inspector General that relate to volunteer safety and support.
We hope that is complied with. I trust that these reforms are a priority for the agency, I know they are.
And I look forward to hearing from Acting Director Spahn about the work the Peace Corps is doing to quickly correct these issues.
The Development Finance Corporation, the newest tool in our tool box.
The DFC, and I’m a big supporter big fan, was created, when Chairman Meeks and I were on this committee, to help the private sector support the United States’ foreign aid and national security goals – and ultimately transition countries from “aid to trade.”
The DFC is intended to, among other things, counterbalance the CCP’s Belt and Road Initiative which spreads their malign influence through economic coercion.
In fact, nearly a third of BRI infrastructure projects encountered major problems, including corruption scandals, labor violations, and environmental hazards – just to name a few.
So as the CCP ratchets up its malign influence tactics around the world, it’s critical this committee ensures they are fulfilling its development mandate, while furthering the national security interests of the United States.
I am particularly interested in learning how the DFC intends to follow the law that we passed, while addressing some of their new commitment made to one-third of their projects being climate related over the next two years.
The same goes for the Millennium Challenge Corporation.
The MCC, started under President Bush, has built a great reputation on its ability to hold our partners to a high standard of accountability.
Sir, it’s good to see you again, the last time I saw you we were on the African continent, and I very much enjoyed our visit to Africa.
Our international development efforts must be strong. They must be coordinated. And they must be responsive to our partners’ needs in order to combat the threats they face.
If we are adding requirements that are out of step with our partner’s needs, malign actors like the Chinese Communist Party will take every opportunity to fill the gap, and exert their influence while diminishing ours.
So, the U.S. must consistently prove itself to be the preferred partner for the developing world.
I want to thank all three of you for your service, and to all the employees of your three organizations.
We’re very proud of what you do and we want to work together with you to make things even better.
With that, Mr. Chairman, I yield back.