352. Memorandum From Secretary of the Treasury Miller to President Carter 1


  • Pending Legislation for the Multilateral Development Banks (MDBs)

The prospects for final passage of an FY 1981 Appropriations Bill for foreign assistance appear to be very limited during the post-election session of Congress.2 The various MDBs can be adequately funded under a Continuing Resolution but only if the Congress first enacts the “IDA Authorization Bill” (H.R. 6811) during the post-election session. That legislation provides not only authorization for IDA VI3 but also provides for U.S. membership and entry into the African Development Bank.

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The Senate has approved this legislation4 so only lack of House action now prevents U.S. participation in IDA VI. Lack of Congressional action has already prevented the replenishment from taking effect on October 1, as scheduled, and the “bridge loan agreement” arranged with other donors to minimize disruptions in IDA lending would be undermined by further U.S. delay.

Deferral of finalization until next summer would jeopardize important IDA lending programs (particularly major energy projects) and could be a disaster from a foreign policy viewpoint. It would also be particularly embarrassing when Tom Clausen is assuming the presidency of the World Bank.5

Finally, United States membership in the African Development Bank has a relatively modest cost but is important for U.S. bilateral relations with African countries and for our growing strategic and economic stake in the region.

After discussing the situation with Secretary Muskie, we both believe that H.R. 6811 should be given the Administration’s top foreign policy priority in the post-election session. I will be talking to both the Democratic and Republican Congressional Leadership trying to generate bi-partisan support for the legislation. We recommend that you discuss the matter with the House Leadership as well.

G. William Miller 6
  1. Source: Department of the Treasury, Office of the Secretary, Executive Secretariat, 1980 Files, 56–83–05. No classification marking. Priority.
  2. The 1980 Presidential and Congressional elections took place on November 4.
  3. See footnote 6, Document 335.
  4. The Senate approved the bill, S.2422, on June 16. (Congress and the Nation, vol. V, 1977–1980, p. 88)
  5. Alden Winship “Tom” Clausen served as the President of the World Bank from July 1981 until June 1986.
  6. Miller signed “Bill” above this typed signature.