Text: S.355 — 111th Congress (2009-2010)All Information (Except Text)

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Introduced in Senate (01/29/2009)


111th CONGRESS
1st Session
S. 355


To enhance the capacity of the United States to undertake global development activities, and for other purposes.


IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

January 29, 2009

Mr. Durbin (for himself, Mr. Whitehouse, Mrs. Murray, Mr. Cardin, and Mr. Dodd) introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on Foreign Relations


A BILL

To enhance the capacity of the United States to undertake global development activities, and for other purposes.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. Short title.

This Act may be cited as the “Increasing America's Global Development Capacity Act of 2009”.

SEC. 2. Findings.

Congress finds that—

(1) foreign development assistance is an important foreign policy tool in addition to diplomacy and defense;

(2) development assistance is part of any comprehensive United States response to regional conflicts, terrorist threats, weapons proliferation, disease pandemics, and persistent widespread poverty;

(3) in 2002 and 2006, the United States National Security Strategy included global development, along with defense and diplomacy, as the 3 pillars of national security;

(4) in its early years, the United States Agency for International Development (referred to in this Act as “USAID”) had more than 5,000 full-time Foreign Service Officers;

(5) in 2008, USAID had slightly more than 1,000 full-time Foreign Service Officers;

(6) the budget at USAID, calculated in real dollars, has dropped 27 percent since 1985; and

(7) this decline in personnel and operating budgets has diminished the capacity of USAID to provide development assistance and implement foreign assistance programs.

SEC. 3. Hiring of additional Foreign Service Officers as USAID employees.

(a) Initial hirings.—Except as provided under subsection (c), not later than 1 year after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Administrator of USAID (referred to in this section as the “Administrator”) shall increase by not less than 700 the total number of full-time Foreign Service Officers employed by USAID compared to the number of such officers employed by USAID on September 30, 2008. These officers shall be used to enhance the ability of USAID to—

(1) carry out development activities around the world by providing USAID with additional human resources and expertise needed to meet important development and humanitarian needs around the world;

(2) strengthen the institutional capacity of USAID as the lead development agency of the United States; and

(3) more effectively help developing nations to become more stable, healthy, democratic, prosperous, and self-sufficient.

(b) Subsequent hirings.—

(1) IN GENERAL.—Except as provided under subsection (c), during the 2-year period beginning 1 year after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Administrator shall increase by not less than 1,300 the total number of full-time Foreign Service Officers over the number of such officers at the beginning of such 2-year period to carry out the activities described in subsection (a), contingent upon sufficient appropriations.

(2) STRATEGY.—Not later than 180 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Administrator shall submit a strategy to Congress that includes—

(A) a plan to create a professional training program that will provide new and current USAID employees with technical, management, leadership, and language skills;

(B) a staffing plan for the subsequent 5 years; and

(C) a description of further resources and statutory changes necessary to implement the proposed training and staffing plans.

(c) Exception.—If the Administrator determines that USAID has competing needs that are more urgent than the hirings described in subsection (a) or (b), or finds a shortage of qualified individuals for such hirings, the Administrator may reduce the number of such hirings and use the available funds for competing needs if the Administrator submits a report describing such competing needs and, if applicable, the nature of the shortage, to—

(1) the Committee on Appropriations of the Senate;

(2) the Committee on Foreign Relations of the Senate;

(3) the Committee on Appropriations of the House of Representatives; and

(4) the Committee on Foreign Affairs of the House of Representatives.