Sent: Wednesday, March 28, 2007 3:51:02 PM Subject: You Did It Again
You did it again. You spoke up for the world's poorest people. Congress listened, and you scored a major victory.
Two weeks ago, ONE members made thousands of calls asking senators to support a $2.4 billion increase to the international affairs budget above and beyond the president's request. In just two days, 22 Senators signed onto a letter in support of this increase. Nevertheless, just days later, the Senate budget committee made the largest cut to the international affairs budget, the primary source of poverty fighting funding, in recent history. It not only lacked the additional $2.4 billion in poverty fighting funding we asked for, but cut below the president's request by a devastating $2.2 billion.
Senators Dodd (D-CT) and Smith (R-OR) responded quickly by offering a $2.2 billion amendment to restore the cut. ONE members responded to a request for urgent action and placed thousands of additional calls urging their senators to support this important amendment. The Senate heard those calls, and unanimously passed the amendment.
By restoring this money, the Senate's official position would increase the international affairs budget by $3.7 billion over 2007 levels. This was the first step in what could be the greatest increase to the international affairs budget in recent history. We still need the House and Senate to agree on a final budget resolution and then appropriate the money later in the year, but this was the critical first step.
The success of this amendment comes on top of a string of great victories for ONE in recent months.
In the closing minutes of the 109th Congress in December, after hundreds of thousands of letters and phone calls, we renewed a special trade benefit within the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), which saved hundreds of thousands of African apparel jobs.
Then in January, again by e-mailing, faxing, and calling your members of Congress in both the House and Senate, you were able to not only protect $1 billion in poverty-focused development assistance that was at risk, but Congress actually increased the funding to $1.45 billion.
This string of successes is no accident. The dedication and hard work of over 2 million ONE members like you made this happen.
Thank you for your time. Thank you for your energy. And most of all thank you for uniting as ONE to become a powerful anti-poverty advocacy force. We are saving lives, changing the American political scene, and changing the world.