On April 28th, Representatives Jackie Speier (D-CA-14) and Bill Johnson (R-OH-6) co-led a bipartisan letter to the House State and Foreign Operations Appropriations Subcommittee supporting $262,850,000 in funding for State Department global demining programs. This represents an increase of $29,000,000 from last year’s allocation.
A total of 81 Representatives signed the letter supporting humanitarian demining programs, a record-breaking number compared to previous years. The letter also supports increased funding for critical mine action efforts in Afghanistan, Angola, Cambodia, Laos, Sri Lanka, Vietnam, and Zimbabwe.
“Landmines and explosive hazards kill and maim thousands of people every year, disproportionately affecting children, and cause communities to live in fear."
Representative Jackie Speier went on to state: "I am proud to co-lead this request to the State and Foreign Operations Appropriations subcommittee along with 80 other Members of Congress urging a $29 million increase for demining efforts worldwide. The request will support landmine and unexploded ordnance removal efforts in countries like Laos, where during the Vietnam-era the U.S. dropped more bombs than in all of World War II. Increased funding for landmine and UXO removal will make the world more peaceful and prosperous and help eliminate needless suffering, especially in regions where the U.S. bears the brunt of responsibility for UXO contamination.”
“I am proud to co-lead this appropriations letter, that would provide $262.85 million for global humanitarian demining programs. When I visited HALO's demining program in Sri Lanka, I personally witnessed how the removal of landmines can transform communities and provide safety. Increased funding for these life-saving programs is critical to ensuring stability across the globe.”
On behalf of HALO, Kristen Stevens, Head of Congressional Affairs, responded to thank Representatives Speier and Johnson for leading this effort and their continued dedication to mine action:
“We at HALO are overjoyed to see support for life-saving humanitarian demining programs continue to grow year after year. We applaud the leadership of the 81 Members of Congress who joined this bipartisan letter and thank them for advocating for resources that will foster stability and development worldwide."
The letter was signed by the following Members: Rep. Alma Adams (D-NC-12), Rep. Colin Allred (D-TX-32), Rep. Don Beyer (D-VA-8), Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR-3), Rep. Lisa Blunt Rochester (D-DE-1), Rep. Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR-1), Rep. Anthony Brown (D-MD-4), Rep. Julia Brownley (D-CA-26), Rep. Cheri Bustos (D-IL-17), Rep. Salud Carbajal (D-CA-24), Rep. Tony Cardenas (D-CA-29), Rep. Andre Carson (D-IN-7), Rep. Joaquin Castro (D-TX-20), Rep. Judy Chu (D-CA-27), Rep. David Cicilline (D-RI-1), Rep. Steve Cohen (D-TN-9), Rep. Jim Costa (D-CA-16), Rep. Rick Crawford (R-AR-1), Rep. Danny Davis (D-IL-7), Rep. Madeleine Dean (D-PA-4), Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-OR-4), Rep. Diana DeGette (D-CO-1), Rep. Mark DeSaulnier (D-CA-11), Rep. Debbie Dingell (D-MI-12), Rep. Tom Emmer (R-MN-6), Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-CA-18), Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA-1), Rep. Bill Foster (D-IL-11), Rep. Ruben Gallego (D-AZ-7), Rep. John Garamendi (D-CA-3), Rep. Jesus "Chuy" Garcia (D-IL-4), Rep. Jimmy Gomez (D-CA-34), Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-AZ-3), Rep. Jim Himes (D-CT-4), Rep. Steven "Steve" Horsford (D-NV-4), Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-WA-7), Rep. Bill Johnson (R-OH-6), Rep. Hank Johnson (D-GA-4), Rep. John Katko (R-NY-24), Rep. Bill Keating (D-MA-9), Rep. Robin Kelly (D-IL-2), Rep. Ro Khanna (D-CA-17), Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-IL-8), Rep. Rick Larsen (D-WA-2), Rep. John Larson (D-CT-1), Rep. Teresa Leger Fernandez (D-NM-3), Rep. Andy Levin (D-MI-9), Rep. Mike Levin (D-CA-49), Rep. Ted Lieu (D-CA-33), Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-CA-19), Rep. Alan Lowenthal (D-CA-47), Rep. Stephen "Steve" Lynch (D-MA-8), Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY-12), Rep. Brian Mast (R-FL-18), Rep. Jim McGovern (D-MA-2), Rep. Peter Meijer (R-MI-3), Rep. Donald Norcross (D-NJ-1), Del. Eleanor Norton (D-DC-1), Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN-5), Rep. Frank Pallone (D-NJ-6), Rep. Jimmy Panetta (D-CA-20), Rep. Chris Pappas (D-NH-1), Rep. Donald Payne (D-NJ-10), Rep. Dean Phillips (D-MN-3), Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD-8), Rep. Bobby Rush (D-IL-1), Rep. Linda Sanchez (D-CA-38), Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL-9), Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA-28), Rep. Brad Schneider (D-IL-10), Rep. Brad Sherman (D-CA-30), Rep. Mikie Sherrill (D-NJ-11), Rep. Abigail Spanberger (D-VA-7), Rep. Jackie Speier (D-CA-14), Rep. Marilyn Strickland (D-WA-10), Rep. Thomas "Tom" Suozzi (D-NY-3), Rep. Dina Titus (D-NV-1), Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI-13), Rep. Nydia Velazquez (D-NY-7), Rep. Peter Welch (D-VT-1), Rep. Susan Wild (D-PA-7).
The full text of the letter can be found here.