Editor's Note: This op-ed originally appeared in The Hill and was written by Enough Project Founding Director John Prendergast.
The United States has a long history of responding to humanitarian disasters and challenging global problems with purpose and compassion. The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) is the organization best equipped to address complex humanitarian issues such as the ongoing refugee crisis in the Middle East and Europe, recovery and rebuilding efforts following a devastating earthquake in Nepal, and conflict and displacement in central and East Africa. To address these and other global problems most effectively, USAID needs a strong and experienced leader. President Obama nominated such a leader on April 30, when he asked development and national security expert Gayle Smith to lead USAID.
Unfortunately, Smith’s nomination remains on hold. On July 16, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) issued a letter stating his intention to block key nominees unless Obama stopped the United Nations Security Council from taking action on the Iran nuclear deal before Congress had a chance to do so. Last week, Senate Democrats blocked a final procedural effort to derail the resolution, which took effect on Friday. At this point, analysts agree that the deal is done.