Bay Area RESULTS News — April 2004

Local Legislative Success   Global Legislative Update   Domestic Legislative Update   Calendar

Local Legislative Success

H.R.3818, the Microenterprise Results and Accountability Act of 2004, has 82 sponsors and cosponsors, including five Bay Area representatives: Tom Lantos (D-San Mateo), Barbara Lee (D-Oakland), George Miller (D-Pleasant Hill), Ellen Tauscher (D-Walnut Creek), and Sam Farr (D-Monterey). Kudos to these legislators for their leadership, especially to Tom Lantos for his support in crafting the bill. And thanks to the volunteers who helped get their cosponsorships!

H.R.4061, the Assistance for Orphans and Other Vulnerable Children in Developing Countries Act of 2004, was just introduced and has 10 sponsors and cosponsors, including two Bay Area representatives: Sponsor Barbara Lee and cosponsor Tom Lantos.

Global Legislative Update

H.R.3818, the Microenterprise Results and Accountability Act of 2004, was introduced by Reps. Christopher Smith (R-NJ), Henry Hyde (R-IL), Tom Lantos (D-CA), and others. This bill 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. The bill gathered 82 sponsors and cosponsors. On April 2, the House International Relations Committee considered it, passed three minor amendments that are OK with RESULTS, and reported it out, by voice vote, with no apparent opposition, for consideration by the full House of Representatives, and then to the Senate.

H.R.4061, the Assistance for Orphans and Other Vulnerable Children in Developing Countries Act of 2004, introduced by Barbara Lee, gathered 9 cosponsors. The House International Relations Committee passed it by unanimous consent. Barbara Lee gave a passionate speech about the importance of this bill for the world's AIDS orphans and other children and thanked the committee for its bipartisan cooperation. Lee also looked out at those of us (RESULTS staff) observing the proceedings in the hearing room and thanked advocates and supporters for helping to make this bill a reality!

Action: There will be approximately one week before the bill is filed and so we have this period of time to collect cosponsors. We are seeking cosponsors from the entire House of Representatives, so please ask your representative to cosponsor this bill. If you get any response, please share it with your group leader or RESULTS legislative staff.

To cosponsor, your representative’s office can contact Christos Tsentos with Representative Barbara Lee (D-CA) at (202) 225-2661 or Paul Berkowitz with Representative Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA) at (202) 225-2415.


Please see January 2004 Bay Area RESULTS News for a report on RESULTS' Global Campaign for 2004.

Domestic Legislative Update

On Tuesday, March 30, the Senate passed the Snowe child care amendment to the bill to reauthorize the federal welfare program, Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF). The vote was 78-20. California Senators Boxer and Feinstein voted yes, as did all Democrats except Zell Miller (D-GA) who voted No and John Kerry (D-MA) who didn't vote. The amendment, which RESULTS has worked hard in support, would increase guaranteed child care funding from $1 billion over five years to $7 billion over five years. Child care is one of the keys to helping Americans transition from welfare to work.

Senator Majority Leader Frist filed a cloture motion to limit additional amendments and debate time on the TANF reauthorization. Democrats wanted votes on amendments on issues including a minimum wage increase and extended unemployment benefits. On Thursday, April 1, the Senate failed to invoke cloture on a party-line vote. Following failure of his cloture motion, Senator Frist set the TANF bill aside and the Senate moved to other matters. Meanwhile, a clean extension of the current welfare law to June 30 (S.2231) has passed both the Senate and the House. This bill leaves child care funding unchanged.

RESULTS will continue our work to ensure that Congress significantly increases funding for child care without passing welfare legislation that would harm millions of low-income families. For more background on TANF reauthorization and possible amendments to the Senate TANF bill, see the updated TANF/child care alert.

RESULTS is also working hard on IDAs (Individual Development Accounts), savings accounts for low-income Americans, with savings matched by government or private sources, with the accounts reserved for education, business development, or home purchase. There will be more news on IDAs in future editions of Bay Area RESULTS News.

Please see January 2004 Bay Area RESULTS News for a general report on RESULTS' Domestic Campaign for 2004.

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