|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:||CONTACT: CHRISTI HARLAN|
|Tuesday, September 26, 2000||202-224-0894|
Sen. Phil Gramm, chairman of the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs, made the following statement today in reaction to the rejection of proposals from U.S. Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers that the international financial institutions, such as the International Monetary Fund and World Bank, cut aid to countries that have squandered international assistance through corruption and mismanagement. Gramm, as chairman of the committee with jurisdiction over the IMF, has made similar proposals regarding the IMF.
"The World Bank and the IMF must understand that American taxpayers, who must pay their bills, will never tolerate forgiving the debt of foreign countries unless some effort is made to prevent that debt forgiveness from funding corruption and mismanagement.
"I am supportive of debt forgiveness for desperately poor countries that have no hope of repaying their loans, but the benefits have to go to the people who live in those countries and not to the corrupt elite who run them. The money must be invested in economic policies that work to the benefit of the people.
"I want to congratulate Secretary Summers for his effort to convey that message to the World Bank and the IMF. I am disappointed to see reports that they have turned a deaf ear.
"I am still hopeful that an agreement might be reached to make more IMF money available for debt relief but I cannot and will not use taxpayer funds to subsidize corruption and mismanagement. No reform, no money."