H.R.2634 - Jubilee Act for Responsible Lending and Expanded Debt Cancellation of 2008110th Congress (2007-2008)
Summary: H.R.2634 — 110th Congress (2007-2008)
Passed House amended (04/16/2008)
Jubilee Act for Responsible Lending and Expanded Debt Cancellation of 2008 - (Sec. 3) Amends the International Financial Institutions Act to direct the Secretary of the Treasury, within the Paris Club of Official Creditors, the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (World Bank), and other defined international financial institutions, to negotiate an agreement to accomplish the following: (1) debt cancellation of eligible low-income countries to such institutions (without undermining their financial integrity) and to the United States; (2) ensuring that the provision of debt cancellation to eligible low-income countries is not followed by a reduction in the provision of any other development assistance; and (3) encouraging the government of each eligible low-income country to allocate at least 20% of its national budget towards poverty-alleviation programs.
Directs the Secretary to commence immediate efforts, within the Paris Club of Official Creditors, the IMF, the World Bank, and the other defined international financial institutions to ensure that each of the institutions continues to make efforts to promote greater transparency regarding the activities of the institution.
Directs the Secretary to commence immediate efforts to establish a framework for responsible lending that will ensure that all creditors contribute to preserving the gains of debt relief for low-income debtor countries.
Directs the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to: (1) audit the debt portfolios of previous governments in countries such as South Africa and the Democratic Republic of Congo where there is significant evidence that onerous or illegal loans were made to the government and report to the appropriate congressional committees; and (2) report to Congress on the availability of the ongoing operations, procedures, and accounts of the IMF, the World Bank, and the other international financial institutions for low-income country debt cancellation.
Directs the Secretary to make available on the Department of the Treasury website the full record of the remarks of the United States Executive Director respecting debt cancellation or reduction owed to respective institutions.
Directs the President to report annually to the appropriate congressional committees on the progress made in accomplishing the purposes of this section, including a list of the countries that have received debt cancellation and countries whose request for debt cancellation has been denied or is under consideration.
Defines "eligible low-income country."
(Sec. 4) Directs the Secretary to begin immediate efforts, within the Paris Club of Official Creditors, the IMF, the World Bank, and the other defined international financial institutions to ensure that debt cancellation to eligible low-income governments is subject only to specified conditions, including that a country: (1) take steps to apply the financial benefits of debt relief to combat poverty and to redress environmental degradation; (2) make transparent policy and budget decisions; (3) adopt an integrated development strategy to support poverty reduction through economic growth; and (4) broaden public participation.
Directs the President to report annually to the appropriate congressional committees respecting such activities.
(Sec. 5) Expresses the sense of Congress that to further debt reduction goals for low-income countries, in addition to the efforts under this Act, the United States should pay off outstanding arrearages of $595.8 million to the International Development Association and regional development banks, and become current on all debt reduction efforts, including those carried out by the International Development Association and under the Enhanced Heavily Indebted Poor Countries Initiative and the Multilateral Debt Relief Initiative.
(Sec. 6) Expresses the sense of Congress that due to the current humanitarian and political instability in Haiti, including food shortages and political turmoil, the Secretary should use the Secretary's influence to expedite cancellation of Haiti's debts to all international financial institutions, or if such debt cancellation cannot be provided, to urge the institutions to suspend Haiti's debt service payments.