Zoellick and the Hill

Although the U.S. Congress has no formal role to play in the World Bank presidential nomination game, they are poised to appropriate annual funding for the World Bank’s IDA and consider an authorization for the next IDA replenishment. Most reported reactions on Zoellick’s nomination have been generally positive from both sides of the aisle. But key World Bank overseer and House Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank is not impressed: “The second, high-ranking George Bush administration foreign policy, national security official in a row, I think is a mistake.”

Other, less straightforward, Democratic takes on Zoellick:
Nancy Pelosi, the Speaker of the US House of Representatives, said that she was impressed by Mr Zoellick, noting that “he’s sensitive to the alleviation of poverty.”‘

Harry Reid, Democratic Senate Majority Leader, states: “The selection of Robert Zoellick as the new president of the World Bank provides an opportunity for the Bank to return to its fundamental mission of alleviating poverty and offering vital aid to developing countries, a mission that no internal crisis should jeopardize. Under its new leadership, I hope the Bank will be able to refocus on helping millions of people around the world.”

And the Republican endorsement:
Senator Grassley, a Republican from Iowa and ranking member of the Senate Finance Committee, says: “I’ve got a lot of respect for Bob Zoellick. He’s extremely capable, and through his leadership for international trade, I know he has a real understanding of what it takes to advance economic development in poor countries. At the World Bank, I want to see Ambassador Zoellick continue the vigorous campaign that Paul Wolfowitz started against corruption in beneficiary countries. The World Bank is in need of reform from top to bottom. We can’t accept business as usual. Paul Wolfowitz may have been railroaded out of his job, but his initiative must continue.”

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