(House of Representatives - September 21, 2016)

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[Congressional Record Volume 162, Number 143 (Wednesday, September 21, 2016)]
[Pages H5787-H5789]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office []

                   GLOBAL DEVELOPMENT LAB ACT OF 2016

  Mr. ROYCE. Mr. Speaker, I move to suspend the rules and pass the bill 
(H.R. 3924) to establish in the United States Agency for International 
Development an entity to be known as the United States Global 
Development Lab, and for other purposes, as amended.
  The Clerk read the title of the bill.
  The text of the bill is as follows:

                               H.R. 3924

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


       This Act may be cited as the ``Global Development Lab Act 
     of 2016''.

     SEC. 2. FINDINGS.

       Congress finds the following:
       (1) The effectiveness of United States foreign assistance 
     can be greatly enhanced by fostering innovation, applying 
     science and technology, and leveraging the expertise and 
     resources of the private sector to find low-cost, common 
     sense solutions to today's most pressing development 
       (2) Breakthroughs that accelerate economic growth and 
     produce better health outcomes in developing countries can 
     help support the growth of healthier, more stable societies 
     and foster trade relationships that translate into jobs and 
     economic growth in the United States.
       (3) In 2014, the Office of Science and Technology and the 
     Office of Innovation and Development Alliances at the United 
     States Agency for International Development (USAID) were 
     streamlined and merged into the United States Global 
     Development Lab.
       (4) The Lab partners with entrepreneurs, experts, 
     nongovernmental organizations, universities, and science and 
     research institutions to find solutions to specific 
     development challenges in a faster, more cost-efficient, and 
     more sustainable way.
       (5) The Lab utilizes competitive innovation incentive 
     awards, a ``pay-for-success'' model, whereby a development 
     challenge is identified, competitions are launched, ideas 
     with the greatest potential for success are selected and 
     tested, and awards are provided only after the objectives of 
     a competition have been substantially achieved.
       (6) Enhancing the authorities that support this pay-for-
     success model will better enable the Lab to diversify and 
     expand both the number and sources of ideas that may be 
     developed, tested, and brought to scale, thereby increasing 
     USAID's opportunity to apply high value, low-cost solutions 
     to specific development challenges.


       (a) Establishment.--There is established in USAID an entity 
     to be known as the United States Global Development Lab.
       (b) Duties.--The duties of the Lab shall include--
       (1) increasing the application of science, technology, 
     innovation and partnerships to develop and scale new 
     solutions to end extreme poverty;
       (2) discovering, testing, and scaling development 
     innovations to increase cost effectiveness and support United 
     States foreign policy and development goals;
       (3) leveraging the expertise, resources, and investment of 
     businesses, nongovernmental organizations, science and 
     research organizations, and universities to increase program 
     impact and sustainability;
       (4) utilizing innovation-driven competitions to expand the 
     number and diversity of solutions to development challenges; 
       (5) supporting USAID missions and bureaus in applying 
     science, technology, innovation, and partnership approaches 
     to decisionmaking, procurement, and program design.
       (c) Authorities.--
       (1) In general.--In carrying out the duties of the Lab 
     under subsection (b), the Administrator, in addition to such 
     other authorities as may be available to the Administrator, 
     including authorities under part I of the Foreign Assistance 
     Act of 1961 (22 U.S.C. 2151 et seq.), and subject to the 
     limitations described in paragraph (3), is authorized to--
       (A) provide innovation incentive awards (as defined in 
     section 4(5) of this Act); and
       (B) use funds made available to carry out the provisions of 
     part I of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 for each of the 
     fiscal years 2017 through 2021 for the employment of not more 
     than 30 individuals on a limited term basis pursuant to 
     schedule A of subpart C of part 213 of title 5, Code of 
     Federal Regulations, or similar provisions of law or 
       (2) Recovery of funds.--
       (A) Authority.--
       (i) In general.--In carrying out the duties of the Lab 
     under subsection (b), the Administrator, subject to the 
     limitation described in clause (ii), is authorized to require 
     a person or entity that receives funding under a grant, 
     contract, or cooperative agreement made by the Lab to return 
     to the Lab any program income that is attributable to funding 
     under such grant, contract, or cooperative agreement.
       (ii) Limitation.--The amount of program income that a 
     person or entity is required to return to the Lab under 
     clause (i) shall not exceed the amount of funding that the 
     person or entity received under the grant, contract, or 
     cooperative agreement.
       (B) Treatment of payments.--
       (i) In general.--The amount of any program income returned 
     to the Lab pursuant to subparagraph (A) may be credited to 
     the account from which the obligation and expenditure of 
     funds under the grant, contract, or cooperative agreement 
     described in subparagraph (A) was made.
       (ii) Availability.--

       (I) In general.--Except as provided in subclause (II), 
     amounts returned and credited to an account under clause 

       (aa) shall be merged with other funds in the account; and
       (bb) shall be available, subject to appropriation, for the 
     same purposes and period of time for which other funds in the 
     account are available for programs and activities of the Lab.

       (II) Exception.--Amounts returned and credited to an 
     account under clause (i) may not be used to pay for the 
     employment of individuals described in paragraph (1)(B).

       (3) Limitations.--
       (A) In general.--Concurrent with the submission of the 
     Congressional Budget Justification for Foreign Operations for 
     each fiscal year, the Administrator shall submit to the 
     appropriate congressional committees a detailed accounting of 
     USAID's use of authorities under this section, including the 
     sources, amounts, and uses of funding under each of 
     paragraphs (1) and (2).
       (B) Innovation incentive awards.--In providing innovation 
     incentive awards under paragraph (1)(A), the Administrator 
       (i) limit the amount of individual awards for fiscal year 
     2017 to not more than $100,000;
       (ii) limit the total number of awards for fiscal year 2017 
     to not more than 10 awards; and
       (iii) notify the appropriate congressional committees not 
     later than 15 days after providing each such award.
       (C) Staff.--In exercising the authority under paragraph 
     (1)(B), the Administrator should seek to ensure that 
     increases in the number of staff assigned to the Lab are 
     offset by an equivalent reduction in the total number of 
     staff serving elsewhere in USAID.


       In this Act:
       (1) Administrator.--The term ``Administrator'' means the 
     Administrator of the United States Agency for International 
       (2) 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

[[Page H5788]]

       (B) the Committees on Foreign Relations and the Committee 
     on Appropriations of the Senate.
       (3) Lab.--The term ``Lab'' means the United States Global 
     Development Lab established under section 3.
       (4) USAID.--The term ``USAID'' means the United States 
     Agency for International Development.
       (5) Innovation incentive award.--The term ``innovation 
     incentive award'' means the provision of funding on a 
     competitive basis that--
       (A) encourages and rewards the development of solutions for 
     a particular, well-defined problem relating to the 
     alleviation of poverty; or
       (B) helps identify and promote a broad range of ideas and 
     practices, facilitating further development of an idea or 
     practice by third parties.

  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Pursuant to the rule, the gentleman from 
California (Mr. Royce) and the gentleman from New York (Mr. Engel) each 
will control 20 minutes.
  The Chair recognizes the gentleman from California.

                              {time}  2030

                             General Leave

  Mr. ROYCE. Mr. Speaker, I ask unanimous consent that all Members may 
have 5 legislative days to revise and extend their remarks and to 
include extraneous material in the Record.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Is there objection to the request of the 
gentleman from California?
  There was no objection.
  Mr. ROYCE. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.
  Mr. Speaker, I rise in support of H.R. 3924, which authorizes the 
U.S. Global Development Lab within the U.S. Agency for International 
Development. Through the Lab, USAID workers, with the private sector, 
partner up; and they tap into the science and technology needed to 
source and to test proven, low-cost, high-impact solutions to pressing 
development challenges around the world.
  From maternal health to food security, the innovations supported by 
the Lab are changing the way we think about and the way we deliver 
foreign aid. This bill provides important authorities to improve the 
Lab's efficacy and efficiency, and it approves incentive awards through 
a competitive pay-for-performance process.
  It enables the Lab to bring in technical experts on a short-term 
basis without long-term salary and benefit obligations. When one of 
these new technologies becomes successful, it allows USAID to keep a 
portion of its initial investment so the Lab can become financially 
  Mr. Speaker, this is the approach that will bend the development 
curve. This is effective foreign aid.
  I want to thank Representative Castro and Representative McCaul for 
introducing this very important, bipartisan measure.
  Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. ENGEL. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.
  Mr. Speaker, I rise in support of this measure. I want to thank 
Chairman Ed Royce for bringing this bill forward. I want to also thank 
Mr. Castro of Texas for his leadership and hard work on this measure, 
and I thank Mr. McCaul as well.
  Mr. Speaker, around the world, 1.2 billion people live in extreme 
poverty. That means they live on less than $1.25 a day. It is hard to 
imagine. No one should have to live on so little.
  At the same time, we know that areas of extreme poverty can be 
hotbeds for other problems. Poverty leads to broader instability. It 
creates vulnerabilities that can be exploited by violent extremists, 
jihadists, or others spreading dangerous ideologies. It holds 
communities and countries back. So we view alleviating poverty as the 
right thing to do and also as a strategic concern.
  That is why USAID established the Development Lab to help develop and 
deploy poverty reduction technologies more widely and at a lower cost.
  I want to acknowledge former USAID Administrator Rajiv Shah, who did 
tremendous work at USAID helping build the Lab into a world-class 
center of innovation, working toward new solutions to extreme poverty.
  The Lab works with NGOs, corporations, and universities to bring in 
the best ideas and stay on the cutting edge of development. It is also 
expanding USAID's impact through a public-private dollar-for-dollar 
matching program that allows us to scale these innovations up without 
expanding USAID's budget.
  We are seeing real results. In 2014, the Lab invested in 362 new 
solutions that touch nearly 14 million people around the world. For 
example, the Lab funded an initiative aimed at producing more food 
where fresh water is hard to come by.
  Securing Water for Food: A Grand Challenge for Development led to a 
system that makes seawater or brackish water usable for drinking or 
agriculture. It consumes so little energy that the cost to use it is 
low, even in areas off the power grid. This is what we mean when we 
talk about innovation.
  Last May, the Development Lab hosted an international competition to 
develop technology to fight wildlife trafficking and crimes. I know 
that Chairman Royce has been very interested in this issue. This led to 
the development of an app called the Wildlife Scan that allows law 
enforcement to easily identify endangered species being smuggled out of 
countries. After just a couple of months, the app has already been 
downloaded more than 1,000 times.
  And just last month, the Global Lab finished up a Zika challenge 
initiative, which led to 21 new solutions targeted at combating the 
spread of the Zika virus and are on track to be tested and deployed. 
They could be available within months.
  The bill would build on the Lab's success by creating new authorities 
for the Lab to expand and manage its partnerships. It will give the Lab 
greater flexibility for hiring experts on a project-by-project basis, 
and it will allow the Lab to award small, targeted grants that have 
proven so effective in supporting healthcare providers.
  I commend Mr. Castro for his hard work on this very good bill. It 
makes a good initiative better, and I am pleased to support it.
  Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. ROYCE. Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. ENGEL. Mr. Speaker, I yield 3 minutes to the gentleman from Texas 
(Mr. Castro), a very valuable member of the Foreign Affairs Committee 
and the author of this measure.
  Mr. CASTRO of Texas. Mr. Speaker, I thank Ranking Member Engel for 
yielding me this time and for his support of this legislation. He, 
Chairman Royce, as well as their staff members have been terrific 
partners in moving this bill forward.
  I also want to say a big thank you to my fellow Texan, Representative 
Mike McCaul, for being the lead Republican cosponsor of this 
legislation, which aims to make our foreign aid efforts more impactful 
and cost-efficient.

  Created in 2014 through the streamlining and merging of two offices, 
USAID'S Global Development Lab is spearheading a new approach that 
supports the invention, testing, and utilization of more cost-efficient 
solutions to development challenges.
  The Lab collaborates with entrepreneurs, corporations, NGOs, 
universities, and science and research institutions to solve some of 
the world's most difficult development challenges faster, more cheaply, 
and more sustainably.
  Essentially, the Lab democratizes problem solving by crowdsourcing 
ideas and applications to find the best solutions from around the 
world. For example, the Lab has used what it calls Grand Challenges for 
Development to incentivize problem solvers to develop solutions for 
specific problems.
  The Saving Lives at Birth Grand Challenge led to the creation of the 
Pratt Pouch, a small ketchup packet-like pouch filled with medication 
that women can use in rural areas to prevent birth-related HIV 
infections. Other Grand Challenges have led to the development of 
breakthrough products that keep healthcare workers treating Ebola 
patients safe, desalinate water in an environmentally sustainable 
manner, and bring electricity to folks living off the electrical grid 
in Africa.
  The Lab also partners with outside entities, such as universities, to 
cultivate solutions to specific development challenges ranging from 
health and food insecurity to chronic conflict. Participating 
institutions equally match USAID's funding and leverage additional 
resources from private foundations.

[[Page H5789]]

  The legislation before us today formally authorizes the U.S. Global 
Development Lab within USAID and provides new legislative authorities 
to augment the Lab's current capabilities, allowing the initiative to 
achieve greater results and maximize its impact.
  The bill allows the Lab to use a pay-for-success model and tap into 
good ideas, no matter their source; bring in term-limited technical 
experts in a more cost-effective manner; and gain the flexibility to 
use program income more effectively.
  In conclusion, Congress can be proud of the work that the Lab is 
currently doing and will continue to pursue once we authorize it and 
provide proper oversight.
  Mr. ROYCE. Mr. Speaker, I congratulate Mr. Castro and Mr. McCaul for 
their innovation.
  I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. ENGEL. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself the balance of my time now to 
  Let me just say, in recent years, it has become very clear the way 
issues like global poverty fit into our broader national and 
international concerns. We see the links between poverty, health, 
stability, and security. So when we work to relieve this burden and 
lift up communities, we are also advancing a wide range of interests. 
As I like to say, it is the smart thing to do, and it is also the right 
thing to do.
  The administration has already taken steps to incorporate poverty 
alleviation into our development efforts. This bill will help USAID do 
even more.
  So, once again, I want to thank Mr. Castro for his hard work. I am 
glad to support this bill. I thank Chairman Royce for his help. I urge 
all of my colleagues to support this bill.
  Mr. Speaker, I yield back the balance of my time.
  Mr. ROYCE. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman from New York (Mr. 
  I yield back the balance of my time.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The question is on the motion offered by the 
gentleman from California (Mr. Royce) that the House suspend the rules 
and pass the bill, H.R. 3924, as amended.
  The question was taken; and (two-thirds being in the affirmative) the 
rules were suspended and the bill, as amended, was passed.
  A motion to reconsider was laid on the table.