Being a senior Republican in a Republican Congress must be fun.
I ran across Congressman Don Manzullo’s pursing a line of questioning about the use of foreign aid in Africa a couple of weeks ago.
You might say he was vociferous.
“Why are the U.S. taxpayers going to buy a solar-powered bicycle? How is that going to help out the world?”
It’s on the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) web site.
$100,000 went toward development of the “E-bike” — “practical, scalable, pollution-free mobile transportation.”
“I don’t know any American who can afford to buy a solar-power bicycle themselves,” the 16th District Congressman said. “This is a waste of taxpayers dollars, and the sooner you guys wake up and understand that, the better off you are going to be.”
Supporting research into technologies that can help the developing world, don’t you know?
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Another source picked up on this exchange from the House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing:
“But there were also spontaneous exchanges that carried some grit, as when Rep. Donald Manzullo (R-Ill.) slammed USAID’s Development Innovation Ventures grant program for funding a U.S. entrepreneur’s efforts to sell solar-powered bikes in Africa, and Shah countered that his agency was helping U.S. businesses invest abroad.
“’Don’t use the word invest, use the word spend!’ Manzullo said.”