Obama Submits MDG Bill to Congress

He must be bucking for the Liberal ‘Piskie vote, as if he didn’t already have it.

110th CONGRESS

1st Session

S. 2433

To require the President to develop and implement a comprehensive strategy to further the United States foreign policy objective of promoting the reduction of global poverty, the elimination of extreme global poverty, and the achievement of the Millennium Development Goal of reducing by one-half the proportion of people worldwide, between 1990 and 2015, who live on less than $1 per day.

IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

December 7, 2007

Mr. OBAMA (for himself, Mr. HAGEL, and Ms. CANTWELL) introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on Foreign Relations

A BILL

To require the President to develop and implement a comprehensive strategy to further the United States foreign policy objective of promoting the reduction of global poverty, the elimination of extreme global poverty, and the achievement of the Millennium Development Goal of reducing by one-half the proportion of people worldwide, between 1990 and 2015, who live on less than $1 per day.

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 `Global Poverty Act of 2007′.

SEC. 2. FINDINGS.

Congress makes the following findings:

(1) More than 1,000,000,000 people worldwide live on less than $1 per day, and another 1,600,000,000 people struggle to survive on less than $2 per day, according to the World Bank.

(2) At the United Nations Millennium Summit in 2000, the United States joined more than 180 other countries in committing to work toward goals to improve life for the world’s poorest people by 2015.

(3) The year 2007 marks the mid-point to the Millennium Development Goals deadline of 2015.

(4) The United Nations Millennium Development Goals include the goal of reducing by one-half the proportion of people worldwide, between 1990 and 2015, that live on less than $1 per day, cutting in half the proportion of people suffering from hunger and unable to access safe drinking water and sanitation, reducing child mortality by two-thirds, ensuring basic education for all children, and reversing the spread of HIV/AIDS and malaria, while sustaining the environment upon which human life depends.

(5) On March 22, 2002, President George W. Bush stated: `We fight against poverty because hope is an answer to terror. We fight against poverty because opportunity is a fundamental right to human dignity. We fight against poverty because faith requires it and conscience demands it. We fight against poverty with a growing conviction that major progress is within our reach.’.

(6) The 2002 National Security Strategy of the United States notes: `[A] world where some live in comfort and plenty, while half of the human race lives on less than $2 per day, is neither just nor stable. Including all of the world’s poor in an expanding circle of development and opportunity is a moral imperative and one of the top priorities of U.S. international policy.’.

(7) The 2006 National Security Strategy of the United States notes: `America’s national interests and moral values drive us in the same direction: to assist the world’s poor citizens and least developed nations and help integrate them into the global economy.’.

(8) The bipartisan Final Report of the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States recommends: `A comprehensive United States strategy to counter terrorism should include economic policies that encourage development, more open societies, and opportunities for people to improve the lives of their families and enhance prospects for their children.’.

(9) At the summit of the Group of Eight (G-8) nations in July 2005, leaders from all eight participating countries committed to increase aid to Africa from the current $25,000,000,000 annually to $50,000,000,000 by 2010, and to cancel 100 percent of the debt obligations owed to the World Bank, African Development Bank, and International Monetary Fund by 18 of the world’s poorest nations.

(10) At the United Nations World Summit in September 2005, the United States joined more than 180 other governments in reiterating their commitment to achieve the United Nations Millennium Development Goals by 2015.

(11) The United States has recognized the need for increased financial and technical assistance to countries burdened by extreme poverty, as well as the need for strengthened economic and trade opportunities for those countries, through significant initiatives in recent years, including the Millennium Challenge Act of 2003 (22 U.S.C. 7701 et seq.), the United States Leadership Against HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria Act of 2003 (22 U.S.C. 7601 et seq.), the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries Initiative, and trade preference programs for developing countries, such as the African Growth and Opportunity Act (19 U.S.C. 3701 et seq.).

(12) In January 2006, United States Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice initiated a restructuring of the United States foreign assistance program, including the creation of a Director of Foreign Assistance, who maintains authority over Department of State and United States Agency for International Development (USAID) foreign assistance funding and programs.

(13) In January 2007, the Department of State’s Office of the Director of Foreign Assistance added poverty reduction as an explicit, central component of the overall goal of United States foreign assistance. The official goal of United States foreign assistance is: `To help build and sustain democratic, well-governed states that respond to the needs of their people, reduce widespread poverty and conduct themselves responsibly in the international system.’.

(14) Economic growth and poverty reduction are more successful in countries that invest in the people, rule justly, and promote economic freedom. These principles have become the core of several development programs of the United States Government, such as the Millennium Challenge Account.

SEC. 3. DECLARATION OF POLICY.

It is the policy of the United States to promote the reduction of global poverty, the elimination of extreme global poverty, and the achievement of the Millennium Development Goal of reducing by one-half the proportion of people worldwide, between 1990 and 2015, who live on less than $1 per day.

20 Responses to “Obama Submits MDG Bill to Congress”


  1. 1 Mike Daley February 15, 2008 at 1:26 am

    MGD Bill?!

    DAMN him!!

    MGD

  2. 2 Timothy Fountain February 15, 2008 at 1:53 am

    It’s too late for MGD…football season’s over, why even crack a cold one!

    Now MDGs, that’s a happenin’ thing.

    I have some interesting stuff on Obama’s formidable support in/from South Dakota (not just voter preference stats – some meaty stuff). Will blog it on Saturday.

    Also, Obama and SD Republican Senator John Thune co-sponsored an energy bill and apparently get on pretty well.

    Brad – I think that the Liberal ‘piskies will back Obama, but I think that most of the old, gray, gay poobahs are in agony that Clinton isn’t already anointed and on the church calendar to boot.

  3. 3 Milton February 15, 2008 at 2:39 am

    A Miller Genuine Draft bill, eh? I guess Obama is in the beer lobby’s pocket already!

  4. 4 CarolAnn February 15, 2008 at 4:26 am

    I don’t appreciate the association of “old and gray,” nor for that matter, “gay” used as slurs.

  5. 5 Sarah February 15, 2008 at 6:36 pm

    CarolAnn,

    Can you explain how Fountain’s use of the words “gay,” “gray,” and “old” were slurs, rather than merely descriptive words?

    Thanks.

  6. 6 Alice C. Linsley February 15, 2008 at 8:33 pm

    Now, ladies! Let’s not argue over descriptors, since their meaning is clear for all and found in every dictionary. It is the noun “poobah” that require semantic exploration. What think you? Poo Bear? Poo poo! Poo on shoe? Help me out here.

    Oh, there it is on page 1019 of The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language. “Poo-Bah: a pompous, ostentatious official, especially one who, holding many offices, fulfills none of them.”
    Yeap! That says it all, Father Tim.

  7. 7 Oldanglican February 15, 2008 at 10:35 pm

    Everyone is wondering what Obama means by “change”. I think this is a good indication. Could be dark days ahead.

  8. 8 Timothy Fountain February 16, 2008 at 6:47 pm

    Sarah and Alice:

    Thanks for the back up! Old, gray & gay are pretty accurate statements of TEC membership (even their own Congregational Development people admit to the old and gray part, and if you look at the members of clergy and bureaucracy, gays are waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay overrepresented compared to the general population).

    Alice is right: the only tendentious word was “poobah”, and I will stand by it as an accurate descriptor of those running TEC.

  9. 9 John S. February 16, 2008 at 10:20 pm

    And yet for Obama, doesn’t it make sense that he would want to act for the betterment of cousins on his father’s side in the “Old Country”? Why shouldn’t it be a truly visceral issue for him, not just a liberal vision?

  10. 10 Alice C. Linsley February 17, 2008 at 2:28 am

    God, help us! A nation of many millions and not a leader to lead us!

  11. 11 Bob Maxwell+ February 17, 2008 at 3:19 am

    We got the leader back.

    Gov. Richardson is back in Santa Fe and this years regular session of the legislature just ended. He’s determined to come up with health care for all New Mexicans, like Hawaii, so there will be a special session sometime soon.

    Alice, I’m going to make my Asbury College 45th Reunion this June. Any place I shouldn’t miss? It’s been 20 years.

  12. 12 Alice C. Linsley February 23, 2008 at 1:23 am

    Bob+, Things don’t change a great deal in KY. Asbury has had some rough days recently, but will survive the challenges. A good number of Asbury seminarians worship regularly with Anglicans and a few come occassionaly to the Antiochian Othodox church where I worship.

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