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Your Action Needed to Halt US Escalation in Colombia

Help collect signatures for an important House letter on Colombia before Sept 10th. A joint House-Senate conference committee will be meeting later this month to hammer out the final version of the 2005 Defense Authorization Bill (the legislation that pays for defense operations). One of the issues they will be debating is whether or not to increase the number of US troops and US private contractors allowed in Colombia. Representatives Sam Farr (D-CA) and Gene Taylor (D-MS) are collecting other House members' signatures on a letter that will be sent to members of the conference committee. The letter asks the committee to accept the House version of the Colombia troop cap in the final version of the bill (the Senate version allows almost double the number of troops and contractors). Visit www.lawg.org for the complete text.

What You Can Do: Make a quick call to the office of your representative and ask him or her to sign the Farr/Taylor letter to defense bill conferees, which urges them to limit the number of US troops and contractors in Colombia.

Here's a sample script: "My name is ___ and I am a constituent calling from ___. I'm calling to ask Representative ___ to sign a letter being circulated by Representatives Sam Farr and Gene Taylor on Colombia. The letter will be sent to members of the defense authorization conference committee. It asks conference members to accept the House version of the Colombia troop cap, which limits the number of US troops and contractors allowed in Colombia-- the Senate version would nearly double the current number allowed. I do not believe that we will help move Colombia closer to peace by deepening our military involvement in the country's armed conflict. [or-- I think that increasing US troop presence in Colombia is an irresponsible use of US resources, particularly at a moment when our armed forces are stretched thin]. I hope Representative ___ will be able to sign the letter before the deadline on September 10th."

To find your representatives name or phone number, see http://www.house.gov/writerep.

The Capitol Switchboard number is 202-224-3121.