Advocacy Update ~ November 12, 2019

Senate Foreign Relations Hearing on Nomination of Alma Golden for Assistant Administrator for Global Health

On October 31, the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations held a hearing on Alma Golden’s nomination to be Assistant Administrator for Global Health at the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). While committee attendance at the hearing was low, Senators Ben Cardin (D-MD), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), and Tim Kaine (D-VA) all raised concerns about the impact of the Mexico City Policy, also known as the global gag rule. The Committee will vote on her nomination once Ms. Golden responds to additional written questions submitted by Senators. 

Ms. Golden currently serves as the Senior Deputy Assistant Administrator, Bureau for Global Health, and would lead the bureau’s work to prevent child and maternal deaths and combat the HIV/AIDS epidemic and infectious diseases.

Another Stopgap Bill Potential Way Forward for FY 2020 Appropriations

Ongoing conversations between Congressional leaders indicate that there may be some progress on a way forward for Fiscal Year (FY) 2020 Appropriations. Much work remains to be done, but with the current continuing resolution (CR) running only through November 21, and sources suggesting that the White House might back down on it’s border wall demand, another three- to four-week extension is expected to keep the government open.

Gavi Launches Process for 2020 Replenishment

In late summer, Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance launched its 2020 replenishment campaign, calling on donors to support its 2021-2025 Investment Opportunity. Gavi is seeking a total contribution of $7.4 billion from donors and asking for the U.S. to maintain its contribution at $290 million annually for three years (2021-2023). Since its inception Gavi has helped immunize more than 760 million children, saving the lives of more than 13 million children. The new investment opportunity will allow Gavi to reach an additional 300 million children, saving up to eight million lives. Up to $5.3 billion will be invested in vaccine programs, including the expansion of the vaccine package to protect against 18 diseases and supporting a new Ebola vaccine stockpile.

Legislative Updates

  • House Committee Advances Nutrition Resolution: In late October, the House Foreign Affairs Committee approved H.Res 189, a resolution recognizing the importance of U.S. leadership in global nutrition. The resolution was passed out of committee unanimously. A similar resolution (S.Res 260) in the Senate is still waiting committee action.
  • Global Child Thrive Act of 2019:  Last week, the Global Child Thrive Act of 2019 (S. 2715 and H.R. 4864), a new bicameral, bipartisan bill “to develop and implement policies to advance early childhood development [and] to provide assistance for orphans and other vulnerable children in developing countries,” was introduced in both chambers.

 

This post was written by Danielle Heiberg, Senior Policy Advisor, and Kiki Kalkstein, Director of Advocacy and Engagement.

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