ONE has been welcomed on several occasions by the office of Representative Gary Peters (MI). I live in the Congressman’s district, and his staff has been most receptive to hearing about the issues which concern his constituents. During a recent meeting with his Outreach Coordinator, Hy Safran, we discussed three foreign aid bills which are pending before the House of Representatives. Following our discussion, Hy put me in contact with the Congressman’s D.C. office, so that I could address the pending legislation with his Legislative Director, Jonathan Smith.
One of the pending bills was the Berman Initiating Foreign Assistance Reform Act – HR 2139, a true reform bill, which focuses on improving the effectiveness of our foreign aid. It directs the President to develop a comprehensive national development strategy by better defining the roles of USG departments and agencies, improving coordination, and increasing the monitoring and evaluation of U.S. development programs. ONE supports the goal of this legislation.
On July 30, 2009, Congressman Peters signed on as a co-sponsor of the bill. He graciously remitted a letter to me, on behalf of ONE, in which he stated, “In consideration for your support for this bill, I have reviewed it closely and found that it would establish common sense measures to allow for greater taxpayer transparency while making our existing foreign assistance funding more effective. I have decided to cosponsor this important legislation, and plan to support it when it comes to the floor of the House for a vote.” The Congressman further pledged to monitor the status of other bills.
It is a pleasure, as a ONE supporter in Michigan, to know that Congressman Peters will take a common sense, practical stand to ensure that U.S. aid to poverty-stricken countries will be effective.
-Stephen Scapelliti, Michigan ONE member
PS, check out the letter here (click “more” for the second page)