Outcome of Efforts to Persuade U.S. House Members to Sign "Dear Colleague" Letter Supporting Increased ANSS Appropriation for FY2005On May 24, 2004, a "Dear Colleague" letter in the U.S. Congress authored by Representatives Nick Smith (R-MI) and Zoe Lofgren (D-CA) was co-signed by 27 other House Members and was sent to the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Interior and Related Agencies. The letter urges a funding level of at least $10 million for the Advanced National Seismic System (ANSS) in FY2005 (click here for background information). An independent letter, urging full funding for ANSS, was sent in April to the appropriations subcommittee by Representative Edward J. Markey (D-MA).
(Click here to view the Smith-Lofgren letter of May 24, 2004.)
The 29 House Members, including Representatives Smith and Lofgren, who signed the 2004 Smith-Lofgren letter included 10 Republicans and 19 Democrats (see list below). In June 2003, a similar letter was signed by a total of 27 House Members (9 Republicans and 18 Democrats) (click here for 2003 list).
List of House Members Who Signed the May 2004 LetterNick Smith (R-MI) Zoe Lofgren (D-CA) Neil Abercrombie (D-HI) Brian Baird (D-WA) Rob Bishop (R-UT) Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) Sherwood Boehlert (R-NY) Mary Bono (R-CA) Ken Calvert (R-CA) Chris Cannon (R-UT) Ed Case (D-HI) Jim Cooper (D-TN) Barbara Cubin (R-WY) Lincoln Davis (D-TN) Peter DeFazio (D-OR) John Duncan (R-TN) Harold Ford (D-TN) Raul Grijalva (D-AZ) Mike Honda (D-CA) Jay Inslee (D-WA) Rick Larsen (D-WA) Barbara Lee (D-CA) Jim Matheson (D-UT) Jim McDermott (D-WA) Adam Schiff (D-CA) Adam Smith (D-WA) Pete Stark (D-CA) Mark Udall (D-CO) Ed Whitfield (R-KY)
2004 Summary by StateCA 7 TN 5 WA 5 UT 3 HI 2 AZ 1 CO 1 KY 1 MI 1 NY 1 OR 1 WY 1 --- 29
Some Republican House Members, including at least three who signed last year's letter, were reluctant to sign on this year because of a commitment to adhere to the President's budget request as a means of controlling budget deficits.
Twelve of the 27 Representatives who signed the Smith-Lofgren letter in 2003 were not among the signers of the 2004 counterpart letter, variously reflecting either the current budget climate (as noted above) or the vagaries of successfully getting their attention. Fifteen of the 29 signatures on the 2004 letter are new. Twelve states, including three new (AZ, CO, and KY), are represented in the 2004 letter; the 2003 letter included 13 states.
An abiding lesson for ANSS advocacy is the need for persistence, follow-through, and--in most cases--the need for direct contacts with Congressional offices to secure the desired support. Supportive efforts by members and staff of the House Committee on Science and its Research Subcommittee are encouraging and greatly appreciated. To the many who helped with the 2004 Smith-Lofgren letter, including key House staffers who provided invaluable help behind the scenes, a heartfelt "thank you" on behalf of the ANSS community.
Walter J. Arabasz
ANSS Intermountain West Region
May 25, 2004
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