Wed, 03/03/2010 - 17:03
In recent weeks, Senator Inhofe (R-OK) and Senator Feingold (D-WI) have given speeches on the Senate floor and submitted statements for the Congressional record about the importance of the LRA Disarmament & Northern Uganda Recovery Act and appealing for Senator Coburn to lift his hold on the bill. This is a major source of leverage in helping see this bill's passed. You can help help get the bill's other Senate supporters to do the same.
Click here to e-mail or call your Senators to request that they join Senators Feingold and Inhofe in issuing a statement calling for the immediate passage of the bill.
When you contact your Senator’s office and reach their staff, you should tell them about Senator Inhofe and Senator Feingold’s statements and share with them the below talking points. Or, you can simply direct the people you talk with to this webpage.
Suggested Talking Points for Floor Statements:
- The Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) continues to commit atrocities and abduct children across three countries in Central Africa.
- Last year, in the Democratic Republic of Congo alone, the LRA reportedly killed a total of 849 people, abducted 1486, and displaced an additional 365,000 people from their homes.
- Based on the estimates of killings, the LRA’s violence far outpaces other violent conflicts in the region, yet it gets far less attention.
- This is one of the worst human rights crises of our time.
- The LRA Disarmament & Northern Uganda Recovery Act (S.1067) would require the President to devise an interagency strategy to help address this violence.
- It would also authorize humanitarian funding for communities across Central Africa victimized by the LRA and assistance to help with recovery and reconciliation efforts in northern Uganda.
- This bill is cosponsored by 64 members of the Senate, which is the most for an Africa-specific bill since at least 1973, according to the Congressional Research Service. I am proud to be a part of this effort.
- Unfortunately, a single Senator, Senator Coburn, is blocking this bill because of his concerns about the federal deficit.
- In general, his concerns are legitimate. But the funds in this bill are authorized, not appropriated. So this bill’s passage would not directly add a dime to the U.S. government budget or deficit.
- To try to address Senator Coburn’s concerns, the sponsors of this bill have offered to amend the language to state that this bill’s fund should come out of existing authorizations for the State Department, not new authorizations.
- I join my colleagues and tens of thousands of Americans in urging Senator Coburn to accept this compromise and work with us to pass this bill as soon as possible.