I got two thank you emails over the last couple of weeks, which I am now getting around to sharing. One of was from Tom Hart of ONE.org.
You and more than 28,000 ONE members have already signed on to tell your senators to Upgrade Aid, but with the Senate Foreign Relations Committee now set to discuss the bill on October 20, we have a little more time to build momentum around this important cause. Please forward the message below to your friends and ask them to join you in supporting an aid upgrade that will help make U.S. foreign aid better, smarter and stronger.
Tom Hart, ONE.org
I got it for supporting S. 1524 along with, at last count, 45,392 others. They've reached 90% of their NEW goal of 50,000 signers! S. 1524 will give USAID the tools and people it needs to better fight hunger and poverty around the world, but this bill critically needs more support to push it through the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, now scheduled for November 10, 2009. Tell your senators to upgrade aid now.
Please strengthen U.S. foreign aid by cosponsoring the bipartisan Foreign Assistance Revitalization and Accountability Act of 2009 (S. 1524).
Ultimately, it means better USAID programs to help the most difficult-to-reach farmers grow crops and feed more of Africa's 265 million hungry people. It means better support for treating 6.6 billion liters of water in Kenya, Madagascar, Malawi, Rwanda, and Zambia. And it also means better immunization, polio eradication, nutrition, diarrhea and pneumonia care, and maternal and neonatal healthcare through USAID programs across the African continent.
The other was from Senator Dianne Feinstein, United States Senator
Thank you for writing to express your support for the "Foreign Assistance Revitalization and Accountability Act of 2009" (S. 1524). I appreciate hearing from you regarding this legislation and welcome the opportunity to respond.
Like you, I want to help alleviate the suffering of people living in poverty worldwide, and believe that organizations such as the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) must be adequately funded and staffed, with robust congressional oversight to ensure transparency and accountability.
Indeed, it is important to examine ways in which the Federal agencies tasked with fighting global poverty, such as USAID, can be reformed and strengthened to better achieve their mission. As you may know, S. 1524 is designed to achieve this through such measures as directing the Administrator of USAID to develop a comprehensive workforce, human resources strategy, and a related task force to support the objective of promoting development and reducing global poverty. As you may know, this legislation is currently awaiting consideration by the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, on which I do not serve. Be assured that I will keep your thoughts in mind should the full Senate have the opportunity to debate this bill.
Further, you may be interested to learn that the Senate Appropriations Committee, on which I serve, recently approved its version of the fiscal year 2010 State -Foreign Operations Appropriations Act (S. 1434), which includes $1.4 billion in funding for USAID to support programs such as the Development Leadership Initiative (DLI), which will provide an additional 350 USAID Foreign Service Officers. Please know that I read your comments with interest and will be sure to keep them in mind as I continue to examine U.S. foreign aid funding.
Again, thank you for writing. I hope that you will keep in touch on issues of importance to you. If you have further questions or comments, please do not hesitate to call my Washington, D.C. office at (202) 224-3841. Best regards.Sincerely yours,
United States Senator