H.R. 1302 (110th): Global Poverty Act of 2007

110th Congress, 2007–2009. Text as of Sep 26, 2007 (Referred to Senate Committee).

Status & Summary | PDF | Source: GPO

IIB

110th CONGRESS

1st Session

H. R. 1302

IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

September 26, 2007

Received, read twice and referred to the Committee on Foreign Relations

AN ACT

To require the President to develop and implement a comprehensive strategy to further the United States foreign policy objective of promoting the reduction of global poverty, the elimination of extreme global poverty, and the achievement of the United Nations Millennium Development Goal of reducing by one-half the proportion of people worldwide, between 1990 and 2015, who live on less than $1 per day.

1.

Short title

This Act may be cited as the Global Poverty Act of 2007.

2.

Findings

Congress makes the following findings:

(1)

More than one billion people worldwide live on less than $1 per day, and another 1.6 billion people struggle to survive on less than $2 per day, according to the World Bank.

(2)

At the United Nations Millennium Summit in 2000, the United States joined more than 180 other countries in committing to work toward the United Nations Millennium Development Goals to improve life for the world’s poorest people by 2015.

(3)

The United Nations Millennium Development Goals include the goal of reducing by one-half the proportion of people worldwide, between 1990 and 2015, that live on less than $1 per day, cutting in half the proportion of people suffering from hunger and unable to access safe drinking water and sanitation, reducing child mortality by two-thirds, ensuring basic education for all children, and reversing the spread of HIV/AIDS and malaria, while sustaining the environment upon which human life depends.

(4)

On March 22, 2002, President George W. Bush stated: We fight against poverty because hope is an answer to terror. We fight against poverty because opportunity is a fundamental right to human dignity. We fight against poverty because faith requires it and conscience demands it. We fight against poverty with a growing conviction that major progress is within our reach..

(5)

The 2002 National Security Strategy of the United States notes: [A] world where some live in comfort and plenty, while half of the human race lives on less than $2 per day, is neither just nor stable. Including all of the world’s poor in an expanding circle of development and opportunity is a moral imperative and one of the top priorities of United States international policy..

(6)

The 2006 National Security Strategy of the United States notes: America’s national interests and moral values drive us in the same direction: to assist the world’s poor citizens and least developed nations and help integrate them into the global economy..

(7)

The bipartisan Final Report of the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States recommends: A comprehensive United States strategy to counter terrorism should include economic policies that encourage development, more open societies, and opportunities for people to improve the lives of their families and enhance prospects for their children..

(8)

At the summit of the Group of Eight (G–8) nations in July 2005, leaders from all eight countries committed to increase aid to Africa from the current $25 billion annually to $50 billion by 2010, and to cancel 100 percent of the debt obligations owed to the World Bank, African Development Bank, and International Monetary Fund by 18 of the world’s poorest nations.

(9)

At the United Nations World Summit in September 2005, the United States joined more than 180 other governments in reiterating their commitment to achieve the United Nations Millennium Development Goals by 2015.

(10)

The United States has recognized the need for increased financial and technical assistance to countries burdened by extreme poverty, as well as the need for strengthened economic and trade opportunities for those countries, through significant initiatives in recent years, including the United States Leadership Against HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria Act of 2003, the Millennium Challenge Act of 2003, the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries Initiative, and trade preference programs for developing countries, such as the African Growth and Opportunity Act.

(11)

In January 2006, United States Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice initiated a restructuring of the United States foreign assistance program, including the creation of a Director of Foreign Assistance, who maintains authority over Department of State and United States Agency for International Development (USAID) foreign assistance funding and programs.

(12)

In January 2007, the Department of State’s Office of the Director of Foreign Assistance added poverty reduction as an explicit, central component of the overall goal of United States foreign assistance. The official goal of United States foreign assistance is: To help build and sustain democratic, well-governed states that respond to the needs of their people, reduce widespread poverty and conduct themselves responsibly in the international system..

3.

Declaration of policy

It is the policy of the United States to promote the reduction of global poverty, the elimination of extreme global poverty, and the achievement of the United Nations Millennium Development Goal of reducing by one-half the proportion of people worldwide, between 1990 and 2015, who live on less than $1 per day.

4.

Requirement to develop comprehensive strategy

(a)

Strategy

The President, acting through the Secretary of State, and in consultation with the heads of other appropriate departments and agencies of the Government of the United States, international organizations, international financial institutions, the governments of developing and developed countries, United States and international nongovernmental organizations, civil society organizations, and other appropriate entities, shall develop and implement a comprehensive strategy to further the United States foreign policy objective of promoting the reduction of global poverty, the elimination of extreme global poverty, and the achievement of the United Nations Millennium Development Goal of reducing by one-half the proportion of people worldwide, between 1990 and 2015, who live on less than $1 per day.

(b)

Contents

The strategy required by subsection (a) shall include, but not be limited to, specific and measurable goals, efforts to be undertaken, benchmarks, and timetables to achieve the objectives described in subsection (a).

(c)

Components

The strategy required by subsection (a) should include, but not be limited to, the following components:

(1)

Continued investment in existing United States initiatives related to international poverty reduction, such as the United States Leadership Against HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria Act of 2003, the Millennium Challenge Act of 2003, the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries Initiative, and trade preference programs for developing countries, such as the African Growth and Opportunity Act.

(2)

Improving the effectiveness of development assistance and making available additional overall United States assistance levels as appropriate.

(3)

Enhancing and expanding debt relief as appropriate.

(4)

Leveraging United States trade policy where possible to enhance economic development prospects for developing countries.

(5)

Coordinating efforts and working in cooperation with developed and developing countries, international organizations, and international financial institutions.

(6)

Mobilizing and leveraging the participation of businesses, United States and international nongovernmental organizations, civil society, and public-private partnerships.

(7)

Coordinating the goal of poverty reduction with other development goals, such as combating the spread of preventable diseases such as HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria, increasing access to potable water and basic sanitation, reducing hunger and malnutrition, and improving access to and quality of education at all levels regardless of gender.

(8)

Integrating principles of sustainable development into policies and programs.

(d)

Reports

(1)

Initial report

Not later than one year after the date of the enactment of this Act, the President, acting through the Secretary of State, shall transmit to the appropriate congressional committees a report that describes the strategy required by subsection (a).

(2)

Subsequent reports

Not less than once every two years after the submission of the initial report under paragraph (1) until and including 2015, the President shall transmit to the appropriate congressional committees a report on the status of the implementation of the strategy, progress made in achieving the global poverty reduction objectives described in subsection (a), and any changes to the strategy since the date of the submission of the last report.

5.

Definitions

In this Act:

(1)

Appropriate congressional committees

The term appropriate congressional committees means—

(A)

the Committee on Foreign Affairs and the Committee on Appropriations of the House of Representatives; and

(B)

the Committee on Foreign Relations and the Committee on Appropriations of the Senate.

(2)

Extreme global poverty

The term extreme global poverty refers to the conditions in which individuals live on less than $1 per day, adjusted for purchasing power parity in 1993 United States dollars, according to World Bank statistics.

(3)

Global poverty

The term global poverty refers to the conditions in which individuals live on less than $2 per day, adjusted for purchasing power parity in 1993 United States dollars, according to World Bank statistics.

Passed the House of Representatives September 25, 2007.

Lorraine C. Miller,

Clerk.