Letter requesting support of the Waters amendment to H.R. 1950, the Foreign Relations Authorization Act, requiring the Administration to report to Congress on its progress in negotiations to obtain deeper debt relief for heavily indebted poor countries.

July 14, 2003

U.S. House of Representatives
Washington, DC 20515

Dear Representative:

On behalf of the Episcopal Church we are writing to request that you support the Waters amendment to H.R. 1950, the Foreign Relations Authorization Act, to require the Administration to report to Congress on its progress in negotiations to obtain deeper debt relief for heavily indebted poor countries.

H.R. 1298, the United States Leadership Against HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria Act of 2003, which was signed into law by the President on May 27, 2003, included a debt relief provision urging the Administration to advocate deeper debt relief within the Enhanced Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) Initiative. This debt relief provision, which was added in the Senate by amendment and subsequently approved by the House, tracked language in a freestanding House debt relief bill introduced by Reps. Chris Smith, Barney Frank, Jim Leach, Tom Lantos, Chris Shays, Spencer Bachus and Carolyn Maloney.

Under the original House bill, the Secretary of the Treasury would have been required to submit a report to Congress describing the efforts and progress made in implementing the improvements to the Enhanced HIPC Initiative. Unfortunately, the debt provision added to the HIV/AIDS bill in the Senate omitted the reporting requirement. This simple reporting requirement is needed to enable Congress to monitor compliance with the debt provisions passed as part of the AIDS bill.

We encourage you to support the Waters amendment to restore the reporting requirements outlined in the original House version of the debt bill.

Sincerely,

 

Maureen Shea
Director of Government Relations

Jere Skipper
International Policy Analyst