Anti-corruption activists prompt rare bipartisan unity


Activists fighting corruption across the world shared their stories on Capitol Hill, where they received recognition from the National Endowment for Democracy and pressed for support to continue their work. VOA’s Congressional reporter Katherine Gypson reports (above).

In a rare moment of bipartisan unity, Speaker Paul D. Ryan, R-Wis. and Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., on Wednesday during a NED award reception pledged continued congressional support for anti-corruption activities and associated efforts to promote good governance, transparency, and the rule of law, Rachel Oswald writes for CQ Roll Call:

“Nothing is more important than speaking up for those who cannot speak for themselves,” Ryan said. Republicans and Democrats alike, he added, “will always have your back.” Pelosi said the U.S. government needs to maintain a focus under President Donald Trump on anti-corruption in its conversations with foreign governments. She urged bipartisan support for the issue, noting “there is nothing partisan about upholding human rights, dignity and universal values.”

Globally, corruption is affecting democracy, governance and the rule of law, asserted Jodi Herman, the NED’s vice president for government relations. “It is undermining the very foundations of democratic rule,” said Herman, a former senior foreign policy adviser for Senate Foreign Relations ranking member Benjamin L. Cardin, D-Md., whose bill (S 853), which has three Republican cosponsors, would require a yearly department report that grades countries on their anti-corruption efforts. RTWT

Oswald is a 2016-2017 Penn-Kemble Democracy Forum fellow with the National Endowment for Democracy.

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