Funding the Fight Against Poverty - Fiscal Year 2021 Appropriations (Updated Feb. 26)
February 5th, 2020
As RESULTS advocates, our mission is to inspire Congress to take meaningful actions to fight poverty. Annually – as Congress turns its focus to the “appropriations” process, we have a real opportunity to get members on the record in support of global health and development issues. One way we do that is by asking Congress to raise their voices on this issue with their peers through congressional “sign-on” letters. We also have the opportunity to ask members of Congress to use their political power to prioritize funding for these critical anti-poverty programs.
That’s why in January, RESULTS’ appropriations campaign kicked off with the release of our fiscal year 2021 “Appropriations Memos” and much of the focus during “Set the Agenda” campaign has been about funding the fight against global poverty. New to this? Feel free to reach out! But here are some basics – and links to letters and sample emails at the bottom!
What’s a sign on letter? A “sign-on” letter (also called a “Dear Colleague” letter) is like a petition in Congress. Sign-on letters are circulated by champions in Congress to ask other members to join them in showing their support for an issue. Sign on letters on funding levels are sent to the leaders of the appropriations committee that writes the foreign aid spending bill. The number of signers on these letters set a marker for just how much support an issue area has. As leaders of the committee start writing their annual spending bill, having clear support from their colleagues is important when they are deciding how to divide up their budget for the year. These letters can have a lot of sway with leadership when a strong number of their colleagues are asking them to support a cause – especially if it shows bipartisan support!
Which letter? Annually RESULTS supports four different appropriations sign-on letters on both the House and Senate side (so eight letters in total)! These four letters ask that appropriators support: 1) robust funding for International Basic Education and the Global Partnership for Education (House letter out), 2) robust funding for PEPFAR and the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria (House letter out), 3) robust funding for Maternal and Child Health, including Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, and Nutrition in Global Health (not out yet), and 4) funding for bilateral Tuberculosis treatment and control, and (not out yet). On the bilateral TB letter – the House version typically asks for a specific funding level of $400 million, the Senate version asks for robust funding.
When are the deadlines? How do you choose? Our window of opportunity to get Congressional support for each letter is different. Check below and continue to check this blog as it will be updated to let you know who has signed on to the many letters circulating and what their deadlines are. Remember! You don’t have to ask for everything. Pick and choose the letters that you think your member of Congress will be most interested in. To help you decide, you can also find a longer term Congressional Scorecard of actions your representatives and senators have taken over the past several years up to 2019 on this page. You can also check out last year’s appropriations scorecard for FY20 letters to see who signed previous letters.
Remember, we track signers differently now. Current signers for FY21 letters are tracked HERE!
- House deadline for member requests to SFOPS committee is March 13
- Senate deadline for member requests to SFOPS committee is April 24
- Individual issue letter sign-on deadlines will be added here when you need it
- Bipartisan letter led by Reps. McCollum (D-MN), Brooks (R-IN), Lee (D-CA), and Fitzpatrick (R-PA)
- Asks appropriators for $900 million for the Maternal and Child Health Account, which includes $290 million for Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, and an additional $200 million for the Nutrition Account
- Deadline to sign on – NOON on March 10
- To sign on – offices can contact [email protected] in Rep. McCollum’s office or [email protected] in Rep. Brooks’s office.
- Bipartisan letter led by Reps. Quigley (D-IL) and Fitzpatrick (R-PA)
- Asks appropriators for robust funding for the Global Partnership for Education and Basic Education
- Deadline to sign on – March 6
- To sign on – offices can contact [email protected] in Rep. Quigley’s office or [email protected] in Rep. Fitzpatrick’s office.
- Bipartisan letter led by Reps. Lee (D-CA) and Wagner (R-MO)
- Asks appropriators for robust funding for PEPFAR and the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria
- Deadline to sign on – March 5
- To sign on – offices should fill out this form.
- Bipartisan letter led by Sens. Collins (R-ME) and Coons (D-DE)
- Asks appropriators for robust funding for the Maternal and Child Health Account, including Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, and the Nutrition Account
- Deadline to sign on – TBD
- To sign on – offices can contact [email protected] in Sen. Collins’ office or [email protected] in Sen. Coons’ office.