Time for Congress to Sign Up to Fight Poverty, AKA - FY22 Global Sign on Letters! (Updated 4/8)
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.
The COVID-19 pandemic adds additional urgency to this critical work. RESULTS advocates helped secure huge investments in Gavi and the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria during COVID-19 relief negotiations – but more must be done. The World Bank estimates that over 150 million additional people could be driven into extreme poverty by the pandemic and its secondary impacts and years of progress on TB and other global health gains are at risk.
One way we can ensure that global anti-poverty and health programs are fully funded 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 February, RESULTS’ appropriations campaign kicked off with the release of our fiscal year 2022 “Appropriations Memos” and much of the focus during “First 100 Days” campaign has been about funding the fight against global poverty. New to this? Feel free to reach out! But here are some basics.
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 several different appropriations sign-on letters on both the House and Senate side. For FY22 we are prioritizing three letters that ask appropriators support: 1) funding for Tuberculosis treatment and control, 2) robust funding for International Basic Education and the Global Partnership for Education, and 3) robust funding for Nutrition in Global Health.
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 2021 on this page. You can also check out last year’s appropriations scorecard for FY21 letters to see who signed previous letters.
Remember, we track signers differently now. Current signers for FY22 letters are tracked HERE!
- House deadline for member requests to SFOPS committee is April 28
- Senate deadline for member requests to SFOPS committee is TBD
- Individual issue letter sign-on deadlines will be added here when you need it
- 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 – April 21
- 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. McGovern (D-MA) and Fitzpatrick (R-PA)
- Asks appropriators for $300 million for USAID Global Nutrition programs
- Deadline to sign on - April 22 COB
- To sign on - offices can contact [email protected] in Rep. McGovern's office or [email protected] in Rep. Fitzpatrick’s office
- Bipartisan letter led by Reps. Bera (D-CA) and Young (R-AK)
- Asks appropriators for $1 billion for the bilateral tuberculosis program at USAID and $225 million for the CDC’s domestic TB program
- Deadline to sign on – April 23
- To sign on – Congressional offices should complete this google form