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Rep. Clarke Applauds Senators Richard Lugar and Patrick Leahy’s Call for the Haitian-American Enterprise Fund

Senators Introduced Companion Bill to Rep. Clarke’s Haitian Private Sector Encouragement Act of 2010

Today, Congresswoman Yvette D. Clarke applauded Senator Richard Lugar (R-IN) and Senator Patrick Leahy (D- VT) for introducing legislation in the Senate that would establish a Haitian-American Enterprise Fund (HAEF), S. 3202. Last month Rep. Clarke introduced H.R. 4961, the Haitian Private Sector Encouragement Act of 2010, which would also establish the HAEF after sending a letter to President Obama in February calling for an executive order to create the fund.

“I would like to thank the Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Senator Patrick Leahy, and Ranking Member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Senator Richard Lugar for introducing S.3202. These distinguished statesmen fully understand the importance of Haiti’s long-term recovery needs, and I look forward to working with them to move this bill through Congress,” stated Rep. Clarke.

The Haitian-American Enterprise Fund would be modeled after private equity and venture capital funds. It would be funded by U.S foreign aid dollars and run by an independent unpaid board of talented individuals with investment and business expertise. The primary goal of the HAEF would be to provide financing to small and medium sized indigenous businesses through loans and equity investments.

“With the introduction of this bill in the Senate, I am confident that this legislation can be passed by Congress and signed into law by the President, creating a new dawn for all Haitians. The Haitian-American Enterprise Fund will lay a foundation for a wide-scale rebuilding campaign focused on both the infrastructure and the people. Enacting this legislation will help create jobs by spurring Haitian entrepreneurship and will serve as a road map for long term economic development in Haiti,” concluded Congresswoman Yvette D. Clarke.