For more than three years, the United States Congress has considered legislation dictating that the United States take certain actions in the World Bank and other multilateral development banks which, opponents have argued, would be incompatible both with United States obligations as a member of these banks and with the apolitical character and development goals of the banks. These actions include earmarking United States contributions to the banks away from particular countries and projects, requiring members of the banks' boards of directors to oppose all loans for such countries and projects, and requiring these directors to oppose loans to countries with records of human rights violations. Some of these congressional demands have been motivated, at least in part, by genuine concern over violations of human rights in countries receiving assistance from the banks. Other motives, however, include the desire of various members of Congress to increase congressional control over foreign policy and particularly over United States foreign assistance; to reduce United States foreign assistance, especially foreign assistance provided through the multilateral development banks; and to eliminate any connection between United States funds and the assistance which banks provide to countries and types of projects opposed by certain members of Congress.
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