March 17, 2021

Risch, McCaul Send Letter to Blinken Calling for Robust Oversight of COVID-19 Foreign Assistance Funds

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Jim Risch (R-Idaho), ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and U.S. Representative Michael McCaul (R-Texas), ranking member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, today sent a letter to Secretary of State Antony Blinken requesting a transparent and responsible distribution of the $10,000,000,000 in U.S. foreign assistance funding that was provided in the recent COVID-19 relief bill.

“We are writing to express serious concerns about the politically and fiscally irresponsible manner in which $10,000,000,000 in U.S. foreign assistance funds have been made available for the international COVID-19 response, and to urge you to take immediate action to ensure that such funds are held to the same rigorous standards of transparency, accountability, and effectiveness as they would have been if provided for under regular order,” said the members.

“We therefore request that the Department work expeditiously to provide to the Congress a comprehensive strategy, and accompanying spend plan, that aligns the $10,000,000,000 provided for the international COVID-19 response with the national interests of the United States,” continued the members. “We expect this strategy to establish clearly defined goals, priorities, objectives, and benchmarks for combatting and mitigating the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. It must not be used as a means to augment or divert funding toward non-COVID-19 related objectives.”

Full text of the letter can be found here.