WASHINGTON Jan 13 U.S. lawmakers late on Monday
failed to agree on key funding measures for the International
Monetary Fund, in another setback for historic reforms at the
global financial institution to give more power to emerging
A $1 trillion proposed spending bill for the federal
government on Monday did not include funding for the IMF,
according to a Republican summary.
For nearly a year, the Obama administration has been pushing
Congress to approve a shift of some $63 billion from an IMF
crisis fund to its general accounts in order to maintain
Washington's power at the global lender, and to make good on an
international commitment made in 2010.
Congress must sign off on the IMF funding to complete 2010
reforms that would make China the IMF's third-largest member and
revamp the Fund's board to reduce the dominance of Western
Europe. The changes would also give greater say to nations such
as Brazil and India to reflect their growing economic heft.
The reform of the voting shares, known as quotas, cannot
proceed without the United States, which holds the only
controlling share of IMF votes.
After putting off the request in 2012 because of the U.S.
presidential election, the U.S. Treasury has sought to tuck the
provision into several bills since March.
The administration's requests, however, have been met with
skepticism from some Republicans, who see them as tantamount to
approving fresh funding in a tight budget environment.
Some lawmakers have also raised concerns about how well the
IMF was helping struggling economies in Europe and the risks
attached to IMF loans, suggesting Congress was in no hurry to
approve any changes.
Republican Hal Rogers, the chair of the House Appropriations
Committee, said no new funding for the IMF was an example of
program cuts that "ensure the responsible use of taxpayer
dollars," according to a statement.
The U.S. Treasury has consistently defended the safety of
contributions to the IMF and argued U.S. funding to the lender
helps preserve U.S. business interests by pushing for a level
playing field abroad.
"We are disappointed that Congress failed to include the
2010 quota and governance reforms in the current legislation," a
U.S. Treasury spokeswoman said on Monday.
"The United States remains committed to implementing the
2010 quota and governance reforms, and we are examining options
to do so as soon as possible."