Bipartisan initiative earmarks $3 billion for ’21st Century Democracy’


A bipartisan group of senators introduced legislation on Monday aimed at increasing funding to support democratic governments globally. The bill would divide the cash between four funds within the State Department and the U.S. Agency for International Development and also provides funding for the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), according to draft text shared exclusively with The Hill:

The draft legislation, called the Democracy in the 21st Century Act, would authorize an increase in U.S. democracy funding to over $3 billion.An estimated $40 million is being earmarked for a “Fund to Defend Democracy Globally”, to be divided between the State Department and USAID (United States Agency for International Development), to support democracy programs that bolster freedom of expression, election integrity and democratic technology. An additional $20 million is being directed to USAID for a “Fund to Combat Corruption and Cronyism,” to support civil society, foreign governments and the private sector to combat corruption. 

USAID is also set to receive an additional $15 million for a “Democracy Research and Development Fund,” to support research, development and innovation within democratic programing, with an emphasis on technology and inter-department coordination and information sharing. RTWT

The initiative comes as governments and civil society prepare for the Biden administration’s much-anticipated Summit for Democracy.

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