Congresswoman Kay Granger (R-TX), the Ranking Member of the Appropriations Subcommittee for State-Foreign Operations, reinforced the will of Congress today with an amendment to prohibit funds in the State-Foreign Operations Appropriations bill from being used by the Secretary of the Treasury to negotiate any agreement in breach of enacted provisions in the War Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2009 that was signed into law in June.
The Granger amendment reaffirms Congress' role in controlling the Administration as it spends hundreds of billions of dollars in multilateral foreign assistance. In a show of bipartisan support, the House passed the Granger amendment by an overwhelming vote of 429-2. Granger released the following statement after the passage of the amendment:
“I appreciate the bipartisan support for my amendment. I think we can all agree that now more than ever we need to keep a watchful eye on how we spend money – regardless of whether it’s spent domestically or overseas.
“Sending money overseas, and to an organization such as the IMF with no commitment from the Administration to ensure the funds are used properly or will not be given to any state sponsor of terrorism is completely unacceptable,” said Granger.
Last month, the Democrat majority in Congress provided President Obama with $108 billion in new funding for the International Monetary Fund as well as approved for the IMF to sell 13 million ounces of gold with proceeds providing a cushion for their internal operating expenses. In doing so, Congress provided for an unprecedented expansion of IMF resources and powers.
On June 24, when President Obama signed the fiscal year 2009 supplemental into law, he issued a signing statement saying he would ignore guidelines put in place by Congress when the IMF funding was approved. The very provisions ignored by President Obama provide some of the only oversight that the United States exercises over the IMF – an organization that will triple in size this year because of the supplemental allocation.
On June 23 during the markup of the State-Foreign Operations bill, the full Committee accepted an amendment by Congresswoman Granger that severely limited the IMF’s authority, including a requirement that the US contribute no more than 20% of the total to the IMF’s emergency loans and a requirement that the U.S. contribution to the IMF emergency credit line expire after 5 years.