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Congressman Williams Votes to Hold the World Bank Accountable

Jan 17, 2018

WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Congressman Roger Williams (R – Austin), who serves as the vice chair on the House Committee on Financial Services’ Subcommittee on Monetary Policy and Trade, voted in favor of H.R. 3326, the World Bank Accountability Act, that passed the House today with a vote of 237-184.

Earlier today, Rep. Williams took to the House floor to speak in favor of this bill. 

Williams’ remarks below:

“Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I rise today in strong support of H.R. 3326, the World Bank Accountability Act.

“I would like to thank the chairman of the Subcommittee on Monetary Policy and Trade, Mr. Andy Barr, for his hard work on this piece of legislation, and for his leadership on this important issue.

“H.R. 3326 passed through the Financial Services Committee unanimously, with an overwhelming bipartisan vote of 60 to zero.

“Mr. Speaker, right now the World Bank’s International Development Association, or IDA, is an irresponsible benefactor for the world’s neediest nations.

“At the core of my concerns within the World Bank, I take great issue with the Bank offering employee incentives for approving new loans. The Bank itself has even documented that they harvest a culture that encourages loan volume, rather than approval based on merit and approval based on need.

“H.R. 3326 will help eliminate these illogical incentives at the World Bank that prioritize pushing money out the door, rather than delivering authentic and helpful solutions.

“In addition to mass-lending from the Bank, careless lending is equally disconcerting, and has made it easier for corrupt regimes to abuse their citizens and exploit the money for terrorism-related efforts.

“In an effort to tackle this issue, H.R. 3326 will guarantee that the World Bank cannot approve funds for a country that has been classified by the United States as a state sponsor of terrorism, and it demands that the U.S. decline bank loans to countries that knowingly fail to impose U.N. Security Council sanctions against the North Korean regime.

“Additionally, this bill will encourage improvements within this institution by withholding up to 30 percent of future appropriations for the World Bank’s IDA until the Treasury reports that the Bank has undertaken meaningful reforms in order to combat corruption, strengthen management accountability, and undermine violent extremism.

“By passing this legislation, we would be requiring the Bank to put more faith in free enterprise, as opposed to the corrupt regimes that abuse the poor.

“If the Bank is serious about helping those who need it most, it should make certain that borrowing governments are committed to the welfare of their citizens.

“The World Bank has been slipping through the cracks for far too long, and it is time to implement meaningful reforms.

“Once again, I commend Representative Barr for introducing this piece of legislation. I encourage the House to follow the Financial Services Committee’s lead, by passing H.R. 3326.

“In God We Trust. I yield back.”

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