To: Colombia Grassroots List
From: Elanor Starmer, Latin America Working Group
Re: Vote on McGovern/Skelton/DeLauro amendment on Colombia
Thank you all SO much for all of your hard work on the Colombia amendment to
the Iraq supplemental! It was debated and voted on last night. The
amendment lost, but the vote was VERY close--209-216, with 10 members not
voting. This is AMAZING PROGRESS. If you recall, our vote on the Colombia
aid last year was 192-243, so we've gained 17 votes since then. The first
year that Colombia aid was debated, we got 30 votes in favor of cutting
military aid. Each one of the votes we've gained since that first year
represents your hard work, and I really want to thank you for all the calls
and letters that were sent out in the past few days, and for your commitment
to changing US policy toward Colombia.
Below, you will find: A summary of the debate; how to give feedback to your
member on their vote (a critical step in building support for the next
one!); a list of members who spoke on the floor or deserve special thanks
for some other reason; and the list of representatives who supported the
THE DEBATE: This is a long process, but we are dedicated, and are moving
forward and changing opinion in Congress. People who had not spoken out on
the Colombia issue before, like Rosa DeLauro and Loretta Sanchez, were all
of a sudden out there giving fiery speeches in support of the amendment.
Every single new Democrat voted in support of the amendment except for one;
this is a sign that you reached them early and helped shape their position
on the issue. (The one new Democrat who voted wrong was Dennis Cardoza from
CA-- so now's the time to get in touch with him to express your concerns
over his vote).
In fact, 190 out of 205 Democrats supported the amendment (10 voted wrong,
and 5 did not vote-- see below for a list). We also got 18 Republicans who
voted right, and we should make sure to thank them.
NEXT STEPS: It is incredibly important to give your members of Congress
feedback on their votes, because if they voted right this time and get a
good response from constituents, they'll be more likely to vote right next
time. If your member of Congress voted against the amendment, it is
critical that you voice your concerns to them. You can call their office to
thank them or register your concerns (call 202-224-3121 to be connected), or
get on their website and write them an e-mail. Go to www.house.gov to find
your member's website.
Here is a summary of the vote last night (if you don't know who your rep is,
People who spoke on the floor in support of the amendment:
Loretta Sanchez (CA)
Diane Watson (CA)
Nita Lowey (NY) had laryngitis and submitted a statement to the record in
support of the amendment.
If your representative is on this list, please send them a special thanks
for their leadership!
Republicans who supported the amendment (also deserve special thanks-- there
was a lot of pressure from the administration to vote against this
Democrats who voted AGAINST the amendment (please voice your concerns to
them-- the Democratic leadership supported the amendment, so this was a big
Berman, Gephardt, McCarthy (MO), Oberstar, and Weiner (NY) did not vote.
List of all reps who voted in support of the amendment (apologies that this
is organized alphabetically rather than by state...):
Johnson, E. B.
Sanchez, Linda T.
If your representative is not on this list, then they voted against the
Let's keep the pressure on by giving our representatives feedback on their
votes! If you make calls or send letters and could let me know, that will
help our work on the DC end. email@example.com.
It is a great pleasure to work with such a dedicated community of people.
Thank you again for all of your efforts.
Associate for Colombia and Central America
Latin America Working Group
110 Maryland Ave. NE, Box 15
Washington, DC 20002
For updates on US policy toward Latin America, please see our website,