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Legislating International OrganizationThe US Congress, the IMF, and the World Bank$
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Kathryn C. Lavelle

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199765348

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199765348.001.0001

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Domestic Constituencies Speak

Domestic Constituencies Speak

The End of Fixed Parity and the Rise of Development Lending

(p.85) 4 Domestic Constituencies Speak
Legislating International Organization

Kathryn C. Lavelle

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines the development stage of the relationship between the IMF and World Bank, when the work of both converged on lending in developing countries. The primary exogenous shock came from the end of the Vietnam War and balance-of-payments deficits, culminating with the end of fixed parity in the IMF. Considerable endogenous change also occurred, chiefly from the “sunshine laws” that opened an array of government activities to public scrutiny. The chapter argues that this combination facilitated new forms of congressional advocacy toward the Bretton Woods institutions because more information on their activities became available as public interest advocacy expanded across American politics. Using amendments to authorization and appropriations bills, groups sought to direct lending of the World Bank, in particular, by earmarks on funds away from countries accused of human rights abuses. Other amendments sought to prevent American participation in the Witteveen Facility and created the Gold Commission. Also during this stage, Congress asserted itself vis-à-vis the executive branch, through extensive negotiations connected to the creation of gold sales to finance the IMF Trust Fund and the Jamaica Accord. While many of the efforts were unsuccessful, they secured future channels of political influence.

Keywords:   Trust Fund, earmarks, Witteveen Facility, Gold Commission, Jamaica Accord, Vietnam, American balance-of-payments deficit, sunshine laws, gold sales, human rights

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