WHY THIS ISSUE IS IMPORTANT: Every year, Congress must decide how much funding critical international assistance programs will receive. These programs help fight devastating diseases such as HIV/AIDS and promote education, health, peacekeeping, and sustainable agriculture. Many of Catholic Relief Services worldwide projects that greatly improve the lives of people living in some of the poorest areas of our world depend on U.S. government assistance. The House Appropriations Foreign Operations Subcommittee is scheduled to begin this process for the FY 2006 appropriations bill on Thursday, June 16. Please help us to reach out to members of the Foreign Operations Appropriations Subcommittee (listed below) to encourage them to robustly fund international assistance programs in FY 2006.
BACKGROUND: In support of our mission to follow the Gospels call to alleviate human suffering and promote justice throughout the world, CRS joins the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) and urges Congress to support the following important funding priorities that will benefit millions of people whose lives and dignity are threatened daily by poverty, disease, natural disasters, conflict and persecution:
- Development Assistance: a $1 billion increase above current spending levels for core development and humanitarian accounts, and $3 billion for the Millennium Challenge Account (MCA) with particular attention to the urgent needs in Africa and Latin America.
- Global Health: $3.7 billion for morally appropriate, comprehensive programs to combat global HIV/AIDS and other infectious diseases, including $800 million for the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.
- Reconstruction and Peace-building: full funding of the Presidents requests for the Transition Initiatives account, the Economic Support Fund, International Disaster and Famine Assistance, and Contributions to International Peacekeeping Activities to assist countries devastated by natural disasters and human conflict, especially Sudan, Haiti, Burundi, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Liberia, Colombia, Iraq and Afghanistan. This includes $150 million to help the Palestinians build capacity for the peace process and statehood.
- Migration and Refugee Assistance: $982 million for Migration and Refugee Assistance (MRA) and $50 million for Emergency Refugee and Migration Assistance (ERMA) to meet the needs of the ever-increasing global refugee population.
- International Development Association: $950 million for the International Development Association (IDA) to enable it to increase critical assistance to the poorest countries.
- Debt Relief: $100 million for debt relief under the ongoing Heavily-Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) Initiative and $300 million to support new multilateral debt cancellation.
- Mexico City Policy: Retention of the Mexico City policy, which prevents our foreign aid program from being misused to subsidize organizations that perform or promote abortions in developing nations, and the Kemp-Kasten amendment that helps prevent U.S. support of coercive population programs.
OTHER WAYS YOU CAN HELP: Get involved in the Catholic Campaign Against Global Poverty www.usccb.org/globalpoverty, a joint effort by USCCB and CRS, which encourages Catholics in the United States to learn about the issues of aid, trade and debt, how they affect our brothers and sisters worldwide, and what you can do to advocate for U.S. policies that promote economic and social development for people living in poverty.
For more information, contact:
Tina Rodousakis, Legislative Network Specialist, 1-800-235-2772 x 7462, Trodousa@catholicrelief.org
Fr. Andrew Small, Policy Advisor, International Economic Development, USCCB, (202) 541-3153; firstname.lastname@example.org
House of Representatives Leadership
|Speaker of the House Dennis Haster (IL-14)
Ask to Speak with Anthony Reed
|Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (CA-08)
Ask to Speak with Mike Sheehy
Leadership - House Appropriations Committee
|Rep. Jerry Lewis, Chairman (CA-41)
Ask to speck with Carl Kime
Phone: (202) 225-5861
|Rep. David Obey (WI-7), Ranking Member
Ask to speck with Christina Hamilton
Phone: (202) 225-3365
Members of the House Foreign Operations Appropriations Subcommittee
|Rep. John Carter (TX-31)
Ask to speak with Greg Johnston
Phone: (202) 225-3864
|Rep. Chaka Fattah (PA-02)|
Ask to speak with Michelle Anderson Lee
Phone: (202) 225-4001
|Rep. Ander Crenshaw (FL-04)
Ask to speak with John Ariale
Phone: (202) 225-2501
|Rep. Jesse Jackson (IL-02)|
Ask to speak with Charles Dujon
Phone: (202) 225-0773
|Rep. Mark Kirk (IL-10)
Ask to speak with Jeannette Windon
Phone: (202) 225-4835
|Rep. Carolyn Kilpatrick (MI-13)|
Ask to speak with Gene Fisher
Phone: (202) 225-2261
|Rep. Joseph Knollenberg (MI-09)
Ask to speak with Craig Albright
Phone: (202) 225-5802
|Rep. Nita Lowey (NY-18), Ranking Member|
Ask to speak with Chris Bigelow
Phone: (202) 225-6506
|Rep. Jim Kolbe (AZ-08), Chairman
Ask to speak with Kevin Messner
Phone: (202) 225-2542
|Rep. Steven Rothman (NJ-09)|
Ask to speak with Shelly Stoneman
Phone: (202) 225-5061
|Rep. Dennis Rehberg (MT-AL)
Ask to speak with Erik Iverson
Phone: (202) 225-3211
|Rep. Don Sherwood (PA-10)
Ask to speak with John Ormasa
Phone: (202) 225-3731
|Rep. John Sweeney (NY-20)
Ask to speak with Jennifer Taylor
Phone: (202) 225-5614
Please remember to let us know about your advocacy efforts! Contact Tina Rodousakis at CRS, 1-800-235-2772 ext. 7462 or email email@example.com to let her know how your member responded to your request on this critical issue.