Bill to revamp US foreign aid system moving forward

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WASHINGTON (Gray DC) -- "Best way to fight poverty is a job," said Russell Taylor, Pastor of Vertical Church in Gainesville, Florida.

Taylor says far too many people live in dire poverty and while they might live half a world away, many Christians and fellow Americans want to offer a helping hand.

“Christ was sensitive to the poor, to the outcast, to the least of these in society," said Taylor.

"It’s a vital American value," said Taylor.

Taylor is lobbying lawmakers on Capitol Hill with other faith leaders, the non-profit ONE campaign and GOP Congressman Ted Yoho.

Together, they believe the BUILD Act would go a long way in lifting up the poor.

“We can move from giving aid to moving into trade," explains Yoho.

Yoho is co-sponsoring the bill to shake up America’s foreign aid system. It would streamline a bunch of federal programs into one agency that works with private investors. This revamped system could also issue direct loans, provide technical support and risk insurance.

“We get more bang for our buck for the American people," said Yoho.

Yoho says this could pave the way for millions of new jobs. The thinking? As the countries strengthen, that would turn those nations into economic and diplomatic allies.

“The bill definitely needs some fixes," counters James Carafano, vice president for foreign and security policy at the conservative Heritage Foundation.

Carafano says the intention of this bill is spot on and he wants to see America leading in an increasingly competitive global marketplace.

But ultimately, he says the bill falls short in ensuring the funds reach places in greatest need.

“I think the last thing we want to do is just create a big organization, with no clear guidance and we just throw a bunch of money at them," said

The bill has bipartisan support and recently cleared a key House committee. This measure is also working its way through the Senate and has the backing of the White House.

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