Washington Report: Updates from Capitol Hill

Black farmers settlement; education enforcement; another jobs bill; aid for Haiti

Government Pledges Support and Debt Relief for Haiti


The U.S. House of Representatives passed the Debt Relief for Earthquake Recovery in Haiti Act (H.R. 4573) that seeks the cancellation of Haiti’s debt to the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, and other multilateral development organizations. And in a departure from its usual lengthy procedural process, the Senate is expected to Rep. Maxine Waters’ (D-California) bill very soon.

Waters said that while she is pleased that her bill will soon become law, the US and other nations must continue to address Haiti’s more immediate needs in the aftermath of the devastating earthquake it experienced on Jan.  12.

“We must also keep in mind the immediate needs of survivors who, without adequate shelter, will be further subjected to the elements and to disease during the upcoming rainy season,” said Waters.

After meeting with Haiti’s President René Préval on Wednesday, President Barack Obama pledged continued financial and humanitarian support. Like Waters, he warned that the conditions there remain “dire,” and that preventing a second disaster remains a challenge.

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