House “Dear Colleague” letter nets 47 signatures

On March 16th Representatives Rush Holt (D-NJ) and Brian Bilbray (R-CA) sent a “Dear Colleague” letter (see Background below) with 45 other signers to the House Appropriations Subcommitee on Energy and Water leaders.  In the letter the signers urge continued support for fusion energy research, particularly for support of BOTH the US fusion program and the continued US involvement with ITER. An excerpt:

We are writing to express our strong support for the fusion energy research programs carried out within the Office of Fusion Energy Sciences (OFES). We request that you restore funding for the U.S. domestic fusion program to the FY 2012 level and maintain the amount requested for the international fusion program ITER in the Administration’s budget.

They continue and make a specific request to the appropriations subcommittee:

We request respectfully that you restore funding for the domestic fusion program and include a total of $447 million for the Office of Fusion Energy Sciences in FY 2013. We understand that difficult funding choices must be made as the appropriations process moves forward. However, clean energy is an area in which our government can ill-afford to fall behind. We know fusion is a sound investment.

To have 47 signers onto a Dear Colleague letter which proposes specific spending amounts directed at an appropriations subcommittee is a very good showing, especially for such a relatively small issue like fusion research (1.5% of DOE budget, 0.01% of US budget).

By signing the letter the following Representatives have shown a strong commitment to continued US fusion research, please take the time to thank them for their support:

Rush Holt
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Representative Brian Bilbray

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Congressman Jerry McNerney
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Mike Quigley
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Mike Capuano
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Rep. Ron Kind
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Peter Welch
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Representative Robert Andrews

Representative Tammy Baldwin

Representative Tim Bishop

Bruce Braley
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Congressman John Conyers, Jr.
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Joe Courtney
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Rep. Joe Crowley
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Congresswoman Diana DeGette
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Congresswoman Anna Eshoo
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Barney Frank
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John Garamendi
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Janice Hahn
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Maurice Hinchey
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Maurice Hinchey
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Jay Inslee
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Representative Steve Israel

Representative Marcy Kaptur

Congressman Leonard Lance
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Representative Zoe Lofgren
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Representative Edward Markey

Congressman Jim McDermott
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Congressman Jim McGovern
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Representative George Miller

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Congressman Jim Moran
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Representative Jerrold Nadler

Frank Pallone Jr.
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Congressman Bill Pascrell, Jr.
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Congressman Jared Polis
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Representative Steve Rothman

Representative Dutch Ruppersberger

Representative Albio Sires

Louise Slaughter
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John Tierney for Congress
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Paul Tonko for Congress
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Congresswoman Niki Tsongas
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http://www.facebook.com/CongressmanChrisVanHollen

The full letter along with the signatures is below:

Download (PDF, 348.17KB)

Background:  A “Dear Colleague” letter is often the vehicle for Congress to organize itself.  It is a letter that is sent to all the offices in the House/Senate or circulated on the floor. The letter is often a means to organize support/opposition for an issue or to find co-signers for a bill. By signing the bill the signers identify themselves to the rest of Congress with that particular stance on that issue. Read more at wikipedia.

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