Summary: H.R.1095 — 106th Congress (1999-2000)All Information (Except Text)

Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

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Reported to House amended, Part I (11/18/1999)

Debt Relief for Poverty Reduction Act of 1999 - Amends the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 to direct the President, subject to authorization of appropriations, to cancel all amounts owed to the United States (including housing guaranties and loans made to finance defense sales under the Arms Export Control Act), the Export-Import Bank of the United States, or the Commodity Credit Corporation by heavily indebted poor countries (HIPCs) that are performing satisfactorily under an economic reform program as a result of concessional and nonconcessional loans made, guarantees or insurance issued, or credits extended prior to June 20, 1999, under any provision of law. Sets forth eligibility requirements for cancellation of debt for HIPCs. Urges the President, in canceling such debt, to seek to leverage scarce foreign assistance dollars and give priority to HIPCs with demonstrated need and the capacity to use such relief effectively.

(Sec. 2) Provides that cancellation of debt shall not be considered to be assistance for purposes of any law limiting assistance to a country.

Requires the President in canceling debt owed by an HIPC to take into account its record: (1) on international child labor and international workers rights; and (2) with regard to female genital mutilation. Declares that the President's authority to cancel debt under this Act shall be in addition to the authority to reduce debt under any other provision of law.

Authorizes appropriations.

Declares the sense of the Congress that: (1) amounts that would otherwise be provided by the United States for development aid or other debt relief should not be reduced on account of any such appropriations; and (2) any assistance proposed to be provided by the United States to a country that receives cancellation of debt should be in the form of grants only.

Urges the President to establish efforts with other countries belonging to the Paris Club of Official Creditors (Paris Club) and with other creditors to: (1) cancel debts owed each such country by an eligible country under this Act, and by Nigeria, as a result of concessional and nonconcessional loans made or credits extended before June 20, 1999; and (2) establish Club procedures to ensure greater transparency in the decision-making process, including specified measures.

(Sec. 3) Amends the International Financial Institutions Act to urge the President, in order to accelerate multilateral debt relief and promote economic and human development and poverty alleviation in HIPCs, to commence efforts within the Paris Club, as well as the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (World Bank), the International Monetary Fund (IMF), and other appropriate multilateral development institutions, to make certain modifications in the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) Initiative, including: (1) that the provision of debt reduction shall not be conditioned on the HIPC adopting or implementing any structural adjustment or stabilization program of the Enhanced Structural Adjustment Facility of the IMF; (2) the incorporation of poverty reduction and environmental protection as conditions for HIPC debt relief; (3) the revision of country eligibility requirements under the HIPC Initiative; (4) the adoption of a human development action plan and fund by HIPCs; (5) that debt reduction shall not be provided to a Southeast Asian country that fails to cooperate with the United States on U.S. prisoners of war-missing in action (POW-MIA) issues; (6) that debt reduction shall not be provided to a country that has not established a natural resources development plan; (7) specified goals for the amount of debt reduction; (8) transparency and participation by HIPCs in HIPC decision making; and (9) the provision of HIPC review.

Authorizes appropriations (only for debt relief) for the HIPC Trust Fund. Declares the sense of Congress that the amounts that would otherwise be provided by the United States for development aid or other debt relief should not be reduced on account of any such appropriations.

Directs the Secretary of the Treasury to instruct the U.S. Executive Directors at specified international financial institutions to use their votes to: (1) promote establishment of poverty reduction strategy policies and procedures that will provide the basis for lending programs of the International Development Administration (IDA) and the Enhanced Structural Adjustment Facility (ESAF); and (2) encourage such institutions to adopt transparency and other measures that will facilitate participation of civil society in developing countries in the design of poverty reduction strategies and in decisions to borrow from such institutions in support of such strategies.

(Sec. 4) Amends the Bretton Woods Agreements Act to authorize the Secretary to instruct the U.S. Executive Director of the IMF to vote to approve an arrangement whereby the IMF sells a limited amount of gold to IMF members and transfers the earnings on the investment of the profits from such sales to the Trust for Special ESAF Operations for HIPCs and Interim ESAF Subsidy Operations (ESAF/HIPC Trust Fund) for the purpose of providing debt relief to, and reducing poverty in, HIPCs.

(Sec. 5) Amends Federal law to direct the Secretary to transmit to specified congressional committees (currently, to Congress) a copy of any international financial agreement (other than a treaty) to which the United States is a party.

(Sec. 6) Expresses the sense of Congress that the U.S. Government, in any discussions with any other country with respect to money laundering and corruption issues, should encourage the enactment and enforcement of laws in such country to prevent money laundering and systematic corruption.

Amends title XV of the International Financial Institutions Act to direct the Secretary to instruct the U.S. Executive Director at each multilateral development bank to vote to: (1) promote policies that would make such banks more effective in promoting good governance principles within recipient countries by fostering structural reforms (including procurement reforms) that reduce opportunities for corruption and bribery, and drug-related money laundering; and (2) oppose loans or other assistance by such bank to a Southeast Asian country that fails to cooperate with the United States on U.S. POW- MIA issues.

(Sec. 7) Amends the Bretton Woods Agreements Act to require the Secretary to instruct the U.S. Executive Director at the IMF to use his or her vote to encourage the IMF to adopt specified safeguards on the use of IMF resources.

(Sec. 8) Directs the Comptroller General to study, and report to specified congressional committees on, U.S. and international financial institution lending policies toward HIPCs receiving debt relief, particularly as they avoid moral hazard and promote economic growth and poverty reduction, without recourse to future debt relief, rescheduling, or the accumulation of arrears.