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March - May, 2006
More than 100,000 U.S. ONE members took action in just 6 days to urge senators to restore critical anti-poverty funding to the Fiscal Year 2007 International Affairs Budget, leading to a bipartisan majority of the US Senate asking Appropriations' leadership to protect development assistance.
In May 2006, the U.S. Senate International Affairs Committee was poised to cut $2.4 billion from President George W. Bush's Fiscal Year 2007 International Affairs Budget (IAB). The IAB is the primary source of funding for the fight against extreme poverty and preventable disease, and these cuts would be devastating to proven programs.
In response, Senators Mike DeWine (R-OH), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Richard Durbin (D-IL), and Rick Santorum (R-PA) drafted a letter to Senators Thad Cochran (R-MS) and Robert Byrd (D-W.Va), Chairman and Ranking Member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, asking that they meet, at a minimum, the President's IAB request of $35.1 billion for FY '07.
Hundreds of thousands of ONE members joined our partner organizations to help strengthen support for this letter. On May 9, 2006, Matt Damon, who had just returned from a trip to South Africa and Zambia, wrote an email to ONE members relating stories from his trip, expressing outrage that billions of dollars in development assistance was in jeopardy, and calling on ONE members to act.
In the first 24 hours, ONE members sent more than 100,000 letters asking their senators to sign onto the DeWine-Feinstein-Durbin-Santorum letter. In just six days, more than 100,000 ONE members sent 197,457 letters and made 1,416 calls to their senators.
The coalition supporting this effort hoped to get a majority of the senate to sign the letter. And on May 19, we wrapped up the campaign with 52 signers, marking the first time in history the majority of the US Senate asked Appropriations' leadership to protect the president's request for life-saving development assistance. Although the Senate leadership maintained its cuts, the entire budget process stalled, and ONE members pressed on for these funds in the FY2007 Budget Continuing Resolution fight -- ultimately securing a $1.4 billion increase in poverty-fighting assistance.
Jim Nussle (R-IA), chairman of the House Budget Committee, cuts more than $2 billion from the president's plan to provide life-saving assistance to the world's poorest countries -- despite 160,000 calls and letters from ONE members.
ONE supporter Matt Damon asks ONE members to call their Senators and urge them to support the Feinstein-DeWine-Durbin-Santorum letter, which demands a stop to devastating cuts in funding for the fight against AIDS and extreme poverty.
In the first 24 hours, ONE members sent over 100,000 letters of support to members of Congress.
In the first 6 days, ONE members sent nearly 200,000 letters to Congress.
The Feinstein-DeWine-Durbin-Santorum letter is delivered to Appropriations Chairman Thad Cochran (R-MS) and Ranking Member Robert Byrd (D-WV). The letter eventually earned the signatures of 52 Senators -- the first time in history that a majority in the Senate asked Appropriations' leadership to protect the President's request for development assistance. Unfortunately, Senator Cochran did not respond favorably, but the budget process was eventually punted to early 2007 and a new Congress.
Asks Nussle to Fully Fund Fight Against Global AIDS and Extreme Poverty.Dubuque Volunteer Delivers 160,000 Letters to Congressman Nussle with ONE. MORE
Jim Nussle (R-IA), chairman of the House Budget Committee, cut more than $2 billion from the president's plan to provide life-saving assistance to the world's poorest countries -- despite 160,000 ONE calls and letters to his office urging him not to do so.
Over 109,000 ONE members and sent 197,457 letters and made 1,416 calls asking their senators to sign onto the DeWine-Feinstein-Durbin-Santorum “Dear Colleague” letter demanding a stop to devastating cuts in funding for the fight against AIDS and extreme poverty.
52 senators eventually signed onto the letter, marking the first time in history the majority of the US Senate asked Appropriations’ leadership to protect the president’s request for life-saving development assistance.
The Feinstein-DeWine-Durbin-Santorum letter set a precedent for supporting the Global Fund and Millennium Challenge Corporation. Although all budget issues were set aside until after the 2006 election, the momentum from this letter was critical in securing commitments through the FY2007 Budget Continuing Resolution in early 2007, which resulted in a $1.4 billion increase to poverty-fighting assistance.