(Senate - June 26, 2012)

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[Page S4638]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office []


      By Mr. KERRY (for himself, Mr. Rubio, and Mr. Cardin):
  S. 3341. A bill to require a quadrennial diplomacy and development 
review, and for other purposes; to the Committee on Foreign Relations.
  Mr. KERRY. Mr. President, I rise today along with my colleagues from 
Florida and Maryland, Senator Rubio and Senator Cardin, to introduce 
the Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review Act of 2012.
  This legislation demonstrates Congress's commitment to strengthening 
the accountability and effectiveness of our foreign aid programs. With 
the United States facing critical foreign policy and development 
priorities worldwide, it is vital that we update our foreign aid 
programs to reflect the new challenges of the 21st century.
  The first-ever quadrennial review on diplomacy and development 
provided an important roadmap for increasing the effectiveness and 
efficiency of our diplomatic and development agencies. I applaud 
Secretary Clinton for her leadership in bringing this valuable planning 
tool to the State Department.
  The purpose of our bill is straightforward: In keeping with the 
practice of undertaking quadrennial reviews by various departments, 
including the Department of Defense, it creates the statutory basis for 
conducting periodically scheduled reviews to guide the mission of the 
State Department and USAID.
  The Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review Act will strengthen 
our diplomacy and development efforts in several key ways. Let me cite 
just a few specifically:
  First, this bill clarifies the measures by which we assess and 
evaluate our diplomacy and development efforts. Developing clear 
metrics will further the effective and results-oriented diplomacy and 
development efforts that I view as essential for protecting and 
advancing our national security interests.
  Second, this bill will focus our diplomacy and development efforts in 
the most effective ways possible, getting the biggest bang for our 
scarce foreign assistance dollars.
  Third, it will help ensure that Congress and the Administration, 
working together, can set clear priorities for diplomacy and 
development. As we face multiple crises and major challenges, setting 
priorities will be absolutely critical to our shared success going 
forward. We must continue to foster inclusive and sustainable economic 
growth and vibrant civil societies. We must also focus on areas where 
we have comparative strengths, including public health, humanitarian 
aid and food security.
  Fourth, this bill will put our diplomacy and development efforts on a 
sustainable path. It streamlines the process for working with the 
Department of Defense and it will help us bring all the tools of the 
United States government to bear in meeting the complex challenges of 
this new century.
  Finally, we all know that we need to strengthen our professional 
diplomatic expertise and capacity, target our investments and untie the 
hands of our aid workers. The QDDR process and our bill provides the 
Secretary and President with a comprehensive and analytically sound 
basis for doing just that.
  Returning diplomacy and development to their rightful place cannot be 
achieved through words alone. This legislation translates words into 
deeds. And if that helps promote U.S. national security interests and 
keeps us safe, as I believe it will, then it's time and effort well