The Bretton Woods Committee applauds long overdue Congressional passage of 2010 IMF quota and governance reform legislation


The Bretton Woods Committee applauds Congressional passage of 2010 IMF quota and governance reform legislation.

December 18, 2015 Today, the House of Representatives in a 316 to 113 vote passed the Omnibus bill to fund the federal government for FY2016 and the long overdue 2010 IMF quota and governance reform package. The Senate closely followed the House and approved the Omnibus by a 65 to 33 vote. President Obama has committed to signing this bill.

The legislation will implement internationally agreed upon reforms to the IMF’s governance structure (both in voting shares and governing seats) giving stronger representation and financial buy-in (quota contribution) to emerging markets, and decreasing overrepresentation of European countries. The U.S. does not lose its veto power, nor increase its overall financial contribution.

The Bretton Woods Committee has worked tirelessly – both publicly and privately – to shore up U.S. Congressional support for IMF quota reform, and to demonstrate that implementing the legislation bolsters U.S. leadership in the Fund and helps preserve U.S. national security and economic interests abroad.

We would like to thank those delegates of the Senate and House of Representatives who demonstrated bipartisan leadership on this issue as well as our members and partners for your ongoing support of this important legislation.

“We are elated that the IMF reforms have finally passed the U.S. Congress. These votes in the House and the Senate today reaffirm America’s leadership role at the IMF. A heartfelt thank you to every Member and Senator who supported this measure,“ said Bretton Woods Committee Chairman former Representative Jim Kolbe (R-AZ).

“We applaud the bipartisan leadership of the House and Senate as well as key Senators and Members on both Appropriations, the Senate Foreign Affairs, and the House Financial Services Committee for their skillful work in getting this important IMF reform over the finish line,” added Bretton Woods Committee Executive Director Randy Rodgers.

“Thank you to all the Bretton Woods Committee members who testified at hearings, wrote letters and op-eds and did rounds of meetings on Capitol Hill to make this happen. Your efforts and those of our coalition partners were critical to this success,” noted Bill Frymoyer, the Legislative Task Force Chair at the Committee.


Background on the Role of the Bretton Woods Committee in the Passage of the 2010 IMF Quota and Governance Reforms

The Bretton Woods Committee has always held the view that strong U.S. leadership in the International Financial Institutions (IFIs) is of strategic importance to the United States and to the world, and has urged Congress to maintain that leadership position. Over the past five years, the members of this committee have worked tirelessly – both publicly and privately – to demonstrate the broad bipartisan coalition of support for IMF quota reform.

For example, in 2013, the Bretton Woods Committee coordinated a first letter of support to then Speaker Boehner and Majority Leader Reid signed by a bipartisan group of top former Cabinet, executive, and legislative officials. The letter urged Congress to maintain U.S. leadership in the IMF by highlighting the return it brings to: 1) advancing U.S. economic interests at home and business opportunities abroad; 2) promoting national security interests; 3) sustaining global leadership and influence in international monetary policy and affairs.

When the opportunity for quota reform enactment came in 2014 alongside the Ukraine aid bill, the Committee again mobilized to coordinate support in two important ways:

  • A letter to House and Senate leadership from 23 former Cabinet officials along with several notable national security and military experts – including Secretaries James Baker, Tom Ridge, Henry Kissinger, Condoleezza Rice, Leon Panetta, and General Brent Scowcroft – spanning bipartisan leadership from eight consecutive U.S. administrations who expressed their support for strong U.S. leadership in the IMF and quota reform enactment.
  • A broad-based bipartisan letter from 190 policy experts, academic and business leaders, and former Senate confirmed appointees who had oversight responsibilities for organizations like the IMF delivering a unified message to Congress: promptly enact IMF quota reform legislation. The letter was distributed jointly by the Committee and the New Rules for Global Finance.

Additionally, the Committee’s legislative task force has worked behind-the-scenes meeting with Congressional representatives, and through op-eds to media outlets, to help shore up support for enacting IMF quota reform. For example, this summer, Committee members and former Treasury officials John Taylor and Clay Lowery testified before Congress on the role of the IMF and urged for passage of the quota reform. And the Committee continues to work in a grass roots capacity through our annual Congressional Education Seminars led by Committee Co-Chair and former Representative Jim Kolbe (R-AZ), educating staffers on Capitol Hill on the importance of U.S. leadership in the IFIs.

We are pleased these collective efforts have finally paid off and again thank our members and partners for staying committed to the cause and for your support of this important legislation.

For more information about the 2010 IMF Quota and Governance Reforms, visit the IMF website.

The Bretton Woods Committee is the nonpartisan network of prominent global citizens, which works to demonstrate the value of international economic cooperation and to foster strong, effective Bretton Woods institutions as forces for global well-being. For more information contact: Randy Rodgers, Executive Director at 202-331-1616.