Wednesday, July 22, 2009

There's that telephone again!

Seems like yesterday when we were calling about the same thing. (Actually, it was back in May). We were being asked to contact our member of the U.S. House of Representatives to urge him or her to cosponsor HR2139. You know, this is the bill that will get the process of reforming foreign started.

So why do we have to call again?

Because we can still make a difference!

As you know, the legislative process can sometimes be gruelingly slow and the results are often not immediately apparent.

Since those first calls, Bread members around the country have sent thousands more letters, visited with aides and some House members on Lobby Day, and also spoke to legislators during home visits.

As of July 22, we had managed to get 83 cosponsors. The original sponsors of the bill think any efforts to reform foreign aid will go further if we can get 100 cosponsors before Congress goes on summer recess.

If you look closely at that list, you'll notice that the names of Rep. Martin Heinrich, Harry Teague, and Ben Ray Lujan are missing! And it's not for lack of trying. New Mexicans have written dozens of letters and made several phone calls.

But the fact that our three representatives haven't cosponsored HR2139 doesn't mean that it won't happen.

So here's what you need to do:
Call 1-800-826-3688 (The Capitol Switchboard) by Tuesday, July 28, and ask to be connected to the office of Rep. Heinrich, Rep. Lujan. or Rep. Teague (whichever of the three is your representative).

Then simply ask him to cosponsor HR2139, the Initiating Foreign Assistance Reform Act of 2009.

Along with that request, you can add one of these points:
• The Initiating Foreign Assistance Reform Act is a good first step in making our nation’s foreign assistance more effective and streamlined. We need you to co-sponsor the bill.

• By making our foreign assistance more efficient and effective, U.S. assistance will have a greater impact on poor and hungry people around the world—critical in these tough economic times.
• The act would require the Obama Administration to develop and implement a comprehensive national strategy for global development. It also includes other initial reforms to make U.S. foreign assistance more accountable..
And Bread members are not alone in making this a priority. Oxfam America has set up a great web page around the issue of foreign-aid reform Check it out

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