Freedom First Society

Issue:  H.R. 2548 Electrify Africa Act of 2014. Sponsor: Ed Royce (D-Calif.).  Question:  On Motion to Suspend the Rules and Pass, as Amended (2/3 vote required).

Result: Agreed to in House, 297 to 116, 17 not voting. GOP and Democrats scored.

From Congressional Research Service Summary:

(Sec. 5) Directs the President to establish a multiyear policy, partnership, and funding strategy to assist countries in sub-Saharan Africa develop an appropriate mix of power solutions to provide sufficient electricity access to people living in rural and urban areas in order to alleviate poverty and drive economic growth.

(Sec. 6) Expresses the sense of Congress that the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) should: (1) prioritize where loan guarantees to African financial institutions would facilitate involvement in African power projects, and where partnerships and grants would increase access to electricity; and (2) consider providing grants to develop national, regional, and local energy and electricity policy plans, and expand electricity access to the poorest.

(Sec. 8) Urges the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) to: (1) place a priority on supporting investment in the electricity sector of sub-Saharan Africa…. Amends the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 to require OPIC’s Board of Directors to: (1) increase the loan, guarantee, and insurance programs, and financial commitments in sub-Saharan Africa, including through the use of an investment advisory council to assist the Board in developing and implementing policies, programs, and financial instruments with respect to sub-Saharan Africa; and (2) appoint an OPIC Inspector General.

Analysis: The Electrify Africa Act garnered massive bipartisan support for an incredible overreach of federal authority (only 1 Democrat — West Virginia’s Nick Rahall — opposed the measure, whereas Republicans were fairly evenly split —106 in favor to 116 against).

The Act would set development priorities for foreign nations and subsidize that development (through loans and loan guarantees).   There is absolutely no constitutional authority for such foreign meddling.

Moreover, the Act relies on two institutions, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), the U.S. department that manages foreign aid, and the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC). Both organizations were created to allow Internationalists to use the wealth of U.S. taxpayers and the full faith and credit of the U.S. government to advance their subversive plans for the world.

It should be the responsibility of foreign nations to create a favorable environment to attract private investment. Instead, Establishment Insiders maintain their grip on other nations through their control of the massive international aid dispensing institutions — the World Bank and the IMF, as well as the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID).   These institutions wield enormous leverage over many governments, whose nations are in debt to these institutions, and they often serve to keep cooperative corrupt regimes in power.

We have assigned (good vote) to the Nays and (bad vote) to the Yeas. (P = voted present; ? = not voting; blank = not listed on roll call.)

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