We have great news. It's been a fast moving 24 hours. Thanks to our efforts together, the House of Representatives and the Senate just authorized the beginning of debt relief for Somalia.
We made the impossible, possible. And debt relief for Somalia cannot come quickly enough.
The White House needs to urgently hear from you.
Now that we passed the initial authorization in the Senate and the House, the President needs to sign the authorization into law. Please ask the White House to support Somalia debt relief now.
The Human Development Index ranks Somalia among the 5 least developed countries on earth. Possibly the poorest country on the African continent, Somalia has a 73% extreme poverty rate. Without relieving Somalia's debt, Somalia cannot finance infrastructure and recover from war, disasters or famines.
Debt cancellation for Somalia could mean women's empowerment, kids going back to school and moving forward measures to end extreme poverty.
The President could sign the bill as early as today if we act. Can you please ask the White House to support Somalia debt relief?
Somalia owes $4.6 billion in debt. $1.1 billion is owed to the US and the US is the largest debt holder. If the US authorizes the process to begin, the IMF, World Bank, France, Italy and other countries will follow suit.
Congress authorized $35 million to begin paying the principle of Somalia's debt and authorize the Treasury and State Department to begin the process. We'll need more help from you in the coming weeks to finish the process - but now momentum is on our side.
P.s. Before the end of the year, we are working to secure $6 billion in Puerto Rico aid and win our changes in NAFTA. We moved the Corporate Transparency Act through the House and are moving the Senate. In order to continue winning, we ask that you please make a donation to support our urgent efforts. All gifts are doubled now.
Bill Heads to White House
Washington DC - As part of the Federal government's year-end spending package or "minibus," Congress passed the first phase of debt relief for Somalia. On Tuesday the House of Representatives passed the DHS Cyber Hunt and Incident Response Teams Act of 2019 (HR 1158) which included $35 million to begin paying the principle of $1.1 billion in US held debt. On Wednesday the Senate passed the companion legislation (S 135) which sends the bill to the President to be signed into law.
"Debt relief for Somalia cannot come soon enough," stated Eric LeCompte, the Executive Director of the religious development group Jubilee USA. "Without relieving Somalia's debt, Somalia is unable to finance infrastructure and recover from war, natural disasters or famines."
The Human Development Index ranks Somalia among the 5 least developed countries on earth. Possibly the poorest country on the African continent, Somalia has a 73% extreme poverty rate.
"Canceling Somalia's debt could mean women's empowerment, kids going back to school and moving forward measures to end extreme poverty," noted LeCompte who serves on United Nations debt expert groups. "If President Trump signs the spending package, the US Treasury and State Departments are authorized to move forward the first phase of debt relief for the African country."
Somalia owes about $4.6 billion in debt. The United States is the largest creditor holding $1.1 billion in Somalia debt. The majority of the remainder of the debt is held by the International Monetary Fund, World Bank, France and Italy.
It's hard to believe that after 10 years of work, Jubilee USA's Corporate Transparency Act could finally become law. But together, we again made what seemed impossible, possible.
In addition to our upcoming Senate transparency vote, we prepare for three more imminent Congress votes on Puerto Rico aid, Somalia debt relief and a new NAFTA trade agreement.
It's our moment.
It's also our busiest December on record.
As we successfully move Congress, the White House and world leaders on our bipartisan, interfaith Jubilee USA efforts - we must raise at least $100,000 dollars before year-end.
So - when you join me and make a year-end tax-deductible gift to Jubilee USA today, we can focus more on winning and less on fundraising. Your donation right now is matched and doubles our impact.
Whether that gift is $50, $15, $500, $150 or any amount - it's doubled and immediately supports our strategic and transformative efforts that impact billions of people living in poverty.
Because of your calls, e-mails and actions, we are close to seeing Jubilee USA's Corporate Transparency Act become law. We won White House support and passed our legislation in the House of Representatives.
The last hurdle is the Senate.
Yesterday, we delivered our letter to the Senate with more than 80 national religious bodies and local churches, synagogues and Muslim groups urging passage of our Jubilee legislation. Religious groups including the National Council of Churches and the Evangelical Lutheran, United Methodist, Presbyterian, Episcopal and United Church of Christ Churches signed on.
From Utah to Georgia to Iowa, many of your faith communities signed the letter. Read the letter and the signatories.
If your faith community hasn't signed on to the letter yet, please sign up your faith community before we deliver an updated letter with new signers next week.
It will be more difficult for dictators to use shell companies to secretly steal debt relief and development aid with our Jubilee legislation. Human traffickers won't be able to use shell companies to hide their profits once this legislation passes the Senate. The legislation reveals the true owners of shell companies to law enforcement.
Even if you already e-mailed your Senators, please e-mail your Senators again and tell them to co-sponsor the Corporate Transparency Act and the ILLICIT CASH Act. You can only e-mail one Senator at a time - so please click the link again after sending your first e-mail so you can send an e-mail to your second Senator too.
We can win this legislation before the end of the year. Your calls, messages and postcards got us this far, but we need your voice now more than ever to cross the finish line.
Thanks for taking action,
Washington DC - More than 80 national religious bodies and local churches, synagogues and Muslim groups sent a letter to the Senate urging passage of the ILLICIT CASH Act (S.2563) and the Corporate Transparency Act (S.1978). "We write to urge you to support legislative actions in line with our faith...legislation that promotes transparency, fights corruption and protects the vulnerable," stated the religious groups which included the Evangelical Lutheran, United Methodist, Presbyterian, Episcopal and United Church of Christ Churches.
"It will be more difficult for dictators to use shell companies to secretly steal development aid and for human traffickers to hide their profits once this legislation passes the Senate. The legislation reveals the true owners of shell companies to law enforcement," noted Eric LeCompte who heads Jubilee USA, the organization that coordinated the Senate letter.
The legislation is supported by the White House and passed the House of Representatives in October.
Read the Religious Organization Senate Transparency Letter here
The National Catholic Reporter quoted Eric LeCompte on the legacy of the Bretton Woods agreement. Read an excerpt below, and click here for the full story.
In New Hampshire, engaged voters revisit the Bretton Woods legacy
"In part what resonates with many workers around Trump's America first policies is that we've seen the 'multilateralism' of the World Bank, the IMF and the World Trade Organization or the 'Bretton Woods' institutions, promote a financial system that enriches a few and forsakes most of us," Eric LeCompte, executive director of Jubilee USA, told me in an interview.
Read more here.
Over the next few weeks and months we face at least four votes in Congress.
Your gift for Jubilee USA really matters now.
Today you can make a tax-deductible gift to support Jubilee USA's mission and that donation will be matched - we can double our impact.
Your gift today means we can be ready to win votes that:
- win debt relief for Somalia,
- secure disaster aid for Puerto Rico,
- move forward a new NAFTA trade agreement that ensures everyone can access medicine
- and prevent the use of shell companies by tax evaders, human traffickers to hide profits and dictators to steal debt relief.
Already for many of our campaigns, we won the support of the White House, Treasury and Congressional leadership. Our strategic, bipartisan, interfaith campaigns continue to move forward Jubilee laws in Congress, at the G20 and with the United Nations and International Monetary Fund.
Please make a gift to support our effective efforts that tackle the root causes of extreme poverty and inequality. Your gift will be doubled now.
Today we are releasing our 2019 year-end report.
It's a year for the record books:
- We passed our bipartisan Jubilee Corporate Transparency Act in the House of Representatives and won White House and Treasury support. After a decade of work, our legislation reveals the true owners of “anonymous” shell companies, stops human traffickers, defends vulnerable communities and protects development aid and debt relief.
- We won more than $69 billion in disaster aid for Puerto Rico, Minnesota, Texas, Iowa, Florida and other US States recovering from natural disasters. We expedited aid for Puerto Rico.
- Our messages to Congress successfully pushed the advisers of Puerto Rico’s debt restructuring to disclose conflicts of interest and stopped $8 billion dollars of bad debt being paid.
- We won support for Somalia debt relief from the White House, State Department, Treasury, IMF and World Bank.
- We moved the White House to support a new NAFTA agreement to stop “vulture funds” and protect vulnerable people.
- Pope Francis and the Vatican highlighted our analysis on debt, tax, climate, trade
- During the Spring IMF and World Bank meetings, Jubilee USA organized the main
event for world leaders on stopping financial and debt crises.
- Our Jubilee USA efforts to end poverty were covered in tens of thousands of newspapers, magazines and television programs around the world.
Please read our full 2019 year-end report.
We appreciate your partnership and I invite you, to join me and make a contribution to support Jubilee USA's interfaith, bipartisan campaigns today.
Ahead of #GivingTuesday, all gifts made now to support Jubilee USA are doubled.
Because of the tax reform and many people prioritizing gifts to political campaigns and partisan messages, our donations are lower this year. Please make a tax-deductible gift to Jubilee USA today and that gift will be doubled.
We are so grateful for your partnership,
Washington DC - According to FEMA, out of 9000 recovery projects requested for Puerto Rico since Hurricanes Maria and Irma struck in 2017, less than 190 projects received funding. Over the same period 3700 projects were funded in Texas and more than 3700 in Florida reports the New York Times.
"Because of Puerto Rico's debt crisis, the island can't access loans to speed up recovery efforts. Puerto Rico is completely reliant on FEMA aid," noted Jubilee USA Executive Director Eric LeCompte who has focused on the islands debt and disaster issues since 2014. "Puerto Rico continues to suffer because it can't borrow money and FEMA is too slow to deliver already approved monies for Puerto Rico."
In November, the American Society of Civil Engineers released a report noting that Puerto Rico's dams, bridges and other infrastructure need $13 to $23 billion in repairs over the next 10 years. The group highlighted that due to "deferred maintenance and hurricane-related recovery projects, the investment gap is even larger."
"Before the hurricanes hit two years ago, Puerto Rico's roads, bridges and electrical grid were already in disrepair because of the island's debt crisis," stated LeCompte. "Of about $50 billion federally approved for recovery, less than $20 billion reached the US Territory and up to another $70 billion still needs to be approved by Congress."
Read the report from the American Society of Civil Engineers here
Next week the Senate decides if Jubilee's Corporate Transparency Act will be voted on.
Thanks to your thousands of calls, petitions, postcards and messages over the last year — the House of Representatives passed the Corporate Transparency Act and we won White House and US Treasury support.
Together we worked on this bipartisan legislation for the last ten years, it finally passed the House and now we need to work together to get it passed the Senate.
Our legislation reveals the true owners of anonymous shell companies to law enforcement. These shell companies are used to hide profits of human traffickers. Dictators and corrupt governments use shell companies to steal debt relief and development aid. Illegal weapons dealers use them. Criminals running Medicaid scams rely on these shell corporations.
For the Senate to move this Republican and Democratic legislation out of committee for a vote next week we need you to do two things:
1.) Please email your Senators now and ask them to co-sponsor Jubilee USA's transparency bills. If you already contacted them, it's urgent you send them another message.
2.) Next week, on December 3rd, we'll deliver our faith community letter to Senators asking them to support this critical legislation. Please have your faith community, congregation or religious institution sign this letter by December 2nd.
Working together, we've made it this far. Now we need you to act again and help us clear one more hurdle to make another piece of Jubilee legislation become law.
P.s. In the next few weeks, we likely face 4 votes in Congress and we really need your help. Puerto Rico, Somalia, a new NAFTA and the Corporate Transparency Act face votes. Please make a donation to Jubilee USA Network as we win critical Jubilee legislation. All gifts for Jubilee USA are doubled now.