Committee to Examine Foreign Assistance with an Eye on Next Administration

House Foreign Affairs Committee Howard Berman (D-Calif.) today announced he will look at how foreign assistance can be reformed in the next administration, with a hearing tomorrow that the committee's spokeswoman says will be the first of several.

"No matter who wins in Pennsylvania today, or in the national election in November, the next administration will need to work with Congress on addressing problems in how this country distributes aid and conducts development programs in other countries," Foreign Affairs Committee spokeswoman Lynne Weil wrote in an email to reporters today.

Weil told The Hill that Berman wants to conduct a "top to bottom review" of U.S. foreign assistance "with an aim toward working with the next administration to address any large-scale problems."

The State Dept. began restructuring U.S. foreign assistance roughly two years ago when Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice created the position of "Director of U.S. Foreign Assistance" at the department in April 2006.

Since a March 2007 full committee hearing where the committee heard testimony from Randall Tobias, the since-retired first director of U.S. foreign assistance, four Foreign Affairs subcommittees have examined foreign assistance in their respective geographic areas of interest.