Senate vote on food aid

It’s a big proposed leap forward, then many steps backward, and one small step forward.

Obama proposed spending nearly 50% of food aid on local purchases. This was cut in the Senate bill, to 2%.

Today’s vote increased that to 3%. The amendment was sponsored by Republican Mike Johanns, of Nebraska, and Democrat Chris Coons, of Delaware, ups the total amount from $40 to $60 million annually. (Well, it’s an increase of 50%…? )

I suppose that change comes slowly. And I had previously written about some reasons for skepticism that Congress would allow more local purchases (though not cynacism!)

But it’s a little disappointing that they couldn’t get more, especially since there seemed to be a lot of enthusiasm about Obama’s strong proposal. The $1.8 billion in annual food aid is itself a minuscule part of the $955-billion, 5-year Farm Bill. Obama’s proposed change would have a small effect on American farmers, but a big impact on farmers in aid recipient countries.

So keep that one on the list.


About developingnathan
I am a reflective person. I am an introvert, a friend, a brother and a son. I appreciate a well-crafted glass of beer, piece of music and turn of phrase. I am a professional of international development, a good pianist and a Green Bay Packers fan.

One Response to Senate vote on food aid

  1. Pingback: The latest FAD in development? | developingnathan

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