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Nearly 150 Members of Congress – — ranging from Blue Dogs and Progressives in the House to a bipartisan group of 31 Senators – have recently signed one of ten independent letters to Congressional leaders calling for full funding of the President’s $58.5 billion International Affairs Budget request.

From the Blue Dog and New Democrat coalitions, to the Congressional Black and Progressive Caucuses, to senior Members of the Budget Committee and the House Foreign Affairs Committee, and Freshmen Members this ground swell of support within the Democratic Caucus – and the geographic and ideological diversity of this support,  sends a strong message on Capitol Hill  about how important this tiny fraction of the budget is to our security, our economy, and our leadership in the world.

On the Senate side, a bipartisan letter in support of the International Affairs Budget request is being circulated by several Senators, including Sens. John Kerry (D-MA), Richard Lugar (R-IN), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), George Voinovich (R-OH), Richard Durbin (D-IL) and Robert Menendez (D-NJ).  The letter will be sent to Budget Committee Chairman Kent Conrad (D-ND) and Ranking Member Judd Gregg (R-NH).

All of this support is in addition to the over 50 retired four- and three-star generals and flag officers who last month sent a letter to every Member of Congress describing how critical the non-military tools of development and diplomacy are to our national security and urging support of the President’s FY 2011 funding request.

The USGLC, on behalf of its 400 business and NGO members and community leaders across the country, thanks all the Representatives and Senators who signed these letters.   This show of support speaks volumes about how essential investing in our non-military tools of development and diplomacy is to America’s safety and prosperity and to fostering a healthier, more peaceful world.

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