The Congressional Revolt

in Behind the Development Banks

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print June 2009 | ISBN: 9780226033648
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226033679 | DOI:
The Congressional Revolt

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This chapter introduces the escalating congressional controversies over the multilateral development banks (MDBs)—controversies that ended with Congress slashing most of the proposed U.S. budget for the MDBs in the last year of the Carter administration. The Cold War created an opening for political liberals to help shape a new kind of U.S. policy toward developing countries. The Nixon, Ford, and Carter administrations found themselves in the position of having to market the MDBs ever more aggressively to Congress in order to win the appropriations to finance them. Over the course of the 1970s, Congress raised many concerns over U.S. participation in the MDBs and increasingly used its ability to pass authorizing legislation and withhold appropriations to attempt to change U.S. policy. By the final year of the Carter administration, the very future of U.S. participation in the MDBs seemed in doubt.

Keywords: Congress; Carter administration; Cold War; U.S. policy; U.S. budget

Chapter.  9040 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Political Economy

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