March 11, 2007

Tell Congress on March 12: Fund Safe, Speedy Withdrawal, Not More War!

March 12 is the NEA P&J Call Congress Day: Tell Congress: Fund Safe, Speedy Withdrawal, Not More War!

Are the Democrats buying Bush's War?

The Democrats charge Bush with incompetence in running the war, and say the course must change, that the mission is lost, and that we don't want our troops in the middle of a civil war ...

Yet they appear ready to give him another $93 billion to continue his disastrous campaign in Iraq. We must stop Congress!

The Democratic-controlled House of Representatives is currently considering the $93 billion Iraq supplemental bill. A vote is expected on Wednesday, March 14, just a few days before the 4th anniversary of the invasion of Iraq.

It's Time for a BIG Push

Several national member groups of United for Peace and Justice have joined together to organize a massive, rolling call-in campaign for the ten days before the vote. The phones on Capitol Hill will be flooded until the final vote on the funding bill.

The UFPJ call-in day is Monday, March 12 -- but there's an important phone call we urge you to make TODAY:

There is a chance that our allies in Congress will be able to attach an amendment to the appropriation request that would effectively require an immediate withdrawal of troops -- so that a vote for the appropriation would in fact be a vote to end the war!

It's a long-shot that this amendment will pass, but we think it is worth fighting for! The first step is to make sure that the Democratic leadership allows the amendment to come to the floor for a vote. That's where we come in:

TODAY! Call the Democratic leadership to demand that they allow an amendment that would direct funding toward troop withdrawal on a short timeline to be offered and brought to a vote on the House floor during consideration of the FY07 Supplemental Bill.

Call one or two (or all) of the following:
Rep. Louise Slaughter (D-NY) -- Chair, Rules Committee (the Rules Committee decides what bills and amendments can be brought to the floor for a vote)
Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) -- Speaker of the House
Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-MD) -- House Majority Leader
Rep. Rahm Emanuel (D-IL)
Rep. James Clybourn (D-SC)

Use this toll-free number, 888-851-1879, or the regular Capitol Switchboard number, 202-224-3121, to make your call(s).

Ask the Capitol Switchboard to connect you to the House Rules Committee Office (to reach the proper staff person for Rep. Slaughter), or to the office of Pelosi, Hoyer, Emanuel or Clybourn.

Then, on Monday, March 12, call YOUR Representative. Call 888-851-1879 toll-free, or the regular Capitol Switchboard number, 202-224-3121.

We'll send you a reminder on Monday morning, along with an update on what to say when you call your Representative's office.

Your calls are part of a massive initiative undertaken by several UFPJ member groups and allies:

Monday, March 5 -- Voters for Peace
Tuesday, March 6 -- Progressive Democrats of America, U.S. Labor Against the War,
Wednesday, March 7 -- CodePink, Global Exchange
Thursday, March 8 -- Gold Star Families for Peace, Veterans For Peace, Military Families Speak Out, Iraq Veterans Against the War, Democracy Rising
Friday, March 9 -- Peace Action, Voices for Creative Nonviolence, Declaration of Peace, Organic Consumers Association
Monday, March 12 -- NEA P&J Caucus, United for Peace and Justice, Hip Hop Caucus
Tuesday, March 13 -- Everyone, call once more!

This call-in effort is part of the huge campaign UFPJ and its member groups have organized to stop the funding of the war:

More than 1,000 activists lobbied members of Congress on January 29;

The Occupation Project has organized scores of sit-ins, vigils and teach-ins in Congressional offices across the country with the participation of many UFPJ member groups;

Members of the UFPJ legislative action network have organized dozens of visits to Congress over their winter recess in February and will do more in March and April.

To be honest, it is a long shot that we will stop the approval of the supplemental request. We are hopeful that more members of Congress will vote against this new round of funding, but our work is far from over and must not stop after the supplemental battle.

Later this month, Congress will take up the Defense Authorization Bill -- over $647.2 billion. That's a huge increase for the Pentagon ... and the Democrats are considering adding more to it! In the meantime, budgets for domestic needs are being slashed or held static. Check how these skewed budget priorities affect your community. Reach out now to activists in your community working on saving funding for essential human needs programs like Head Start, day care and health care. Plan joint "Cost of War" protests in your district. We'll be sending out more information and ideas soon.

After Congress passes its Budget Authorization Bills, the money has to be appropriated. This process often lasts into the fall. And Bush has already requested another $145 billion supplemental appropriation to continue the Iraq war beyond October 2007.

This means that we will have several opportunities to pressure Congress to either stop funding the war, or tie funding to an immediate troop withdrawal, over the next several months. Stay tuned ...

1 comment:

Susan said...

Thanks for spreading the word!

Please let us know how your calls went by posting a note here: