Sam Daley-Harris San Jose Group Launched Global Legislative Update Domestic Legislative Update Calendar
RESULTS founder and Microcredit Summit Campaign chairman Sam Daley-Harris will visit the Bay Area to promote the Microcredit Summit Campaign and celebrate the publication of the tenth anniversary edition of his book Reclaiming Our Democracy: Healing the Break between People and Government. Meet Sam in Berkeley Thursday, January 3 and Los Altos Friday, January 4.
The San Jose/Silicon Valley Global RESULTS group was relaunched in September 2004, bringing our Bay Area strength to four Global groups. Conference calls will be in the home of Peter Fiekowsky in Los Altos. The San Jose group works mainly with Reps. Anna Eshoo (Atherton, Mike Honda (San Jose-Los Gatos), and Zoe Lofgren (San Jose), and also with Tom Lantos (D-San Mateo), Pete Stark (D-Fremont), and Sam Farr (D-Monterey).
H.R.3818, the Microenterprise Results and Accountability Act of 2004, introduced by Reps. Christopher Smith (R-NJ), Henry Hyde (R-IL), Tom Lantos (D-San Mateo), and others, provides landmark reforms of USAID's microenterprise efforts to ensure that more money actually reaches programs in the field serving large numbers of very poor clients. It also reinforces the development of poverty measurement tools, to measure and assure compliance. Although the House International Relations Committee approved the bill in on April 2, the House didn't vote on it until November 20, when it approved the bill unanimously. The Senate passed the bill unanimously on December 8, and President Bush signed it December 23.
When RESULTS began lobbying for microenterprise legislation almost 20 years ago, we faced resistance every step of the way. Thanks in part to our steady support, microenterprise is now so mainstream that our bills pass without opposition. But RESULTS is the main group working to assure that lending is targeted to the poorest borrowers, and the success of this cause is largely attributable to RESULTS.
School Fees: H.R.4061, the Assistance for Orphans and Other Vulnerable Children in Developing Countries Act of 2004, introduced by Barbara Lee (D-Oakland), had many provisions suported by RESULTS. The main purpose of the bill was to create a fund, to be administered by UNICEF, that would support countries in eliminating school fees — which are major barriers to education for AIDS orphans, girls and other poor children. The House International Relations Committee unanimously approved the bill, and the House passed it on June 14, 2004. In the Senate, it was referred to the Foreign Relations Committee, which unfortunately did not take action on the bill. While the bill did not pass, Congress did appropriate $15 million as a pilot project based on this bill.
Appropriations Funding Levels for FY 2005
In a difficult year, we achieved increases in nearly all of our programs except the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria. The GFATM received $109 million less than it did last year from Congress, even in the best case scenario, if all of the $88 million from 2004 is rolled over. It has been tough going for this important mechanism, as it is has been seen as competing head-on with the president's AIDS initiative, PEPFAR. The resources provided to the GFATM will only allow for renewals of existing grants and we still need to find additional money to fund a new round of grants in 2005. Given what is expected to come from other donors to the Global Fund in 2005, the United States will be donating less than one-third of overall resources.
Affordable Health Care for All Campaign: RESULTS activists organized at least 21 local community events to raise the profile of health care issues in election debates during the Affordable Health Care for All campaign. These events include candidate and community forums, letter-writing/outreach meetings, events at local schools or college/university campuses, letter-writing tables at churches and community fairs, and house parties to watch videos or televised candidate debates along with a facilitated discussion. While the Affordable Health Care for All campaign didn't achieve success in 2004, it was never planned as a one-year campaign, and RESULTS will continue to work with other organizations for affordable heath care.
Children's Health: RESULTS lobbied to protect $1.07 billion in unspent State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) funds, enough money to provide health coverage for 750,000 uninsured children. These funds reverted back to the federal treasury on September 30, 2004, but Congress can take action retroactively to restore the funds. Despite the lobbying of RESULTS, Congress did not do so in 2004, but we will continue to lobby on this issue.
Omnibus Appropriation: On November 20, Congress passed a $388.4 billion government-wide appropriations bill for fiscal year 2005, funding all agencies for which separate funding bills had not yet been approved. Some of the details include:
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