The House and the Senate will vote this summer to cut funds for the SOA (as early as the end of July). Now is the time to focus our efforts on Congress.

The word from Washington is: there is silence from those of us who demand that they cut funding and close the SOA. However, the Pentagon is not silent; it is lobbying hard to keep the SOA open. Please write and call your Representatives and Senators today.

In the coming weeks, the House of Representatives will be working on the Foreign Aid Appropriations bill for 1999. Urge your representative to vote yes on any amendment to cut funds for the US Army School of the Americas from the 1999 Foreign Aid Appropriations Bill. An amendment to cut funds for the SOA can be introduced at three points: the Foreign Operations Subcommittee; the House Appropriations Committee; and finally the full House. Last year this initiative was narrowly defeated by the full House, 210-217.

Remember that those who voted yes last year on the House Amendment, but are not yet co-sponsors of HR611, are being lobbied hard by the US Army. They need to hear from you with thanks for last year's vote and encouragement to vote yes to an amendment this year. Very important, if your Representative is already a co-sponsor, call and thank them for their continuing support and remind them to vote yes to the amendment this year. Every vote counts.

IN THE SENATE, Senator Durbin will likely offer an amendment to cut funds for the SOA in the companion bill to the 1999 Foreign Aid Appropriations Bill. We anticipate the votes in the House and Senate will occur about the same time (as early as the end of July). It is critical that we lobby our Senators at this time. Ask them to vote yes to any amendment to cut funds for the SOA and to sign on as a co- sponsor to S980.

Continue to work on getting more co-sponsors for HR611 (House) and S980 (Senate). Don't give up on the Senate! We can win more co- sponsors there!

Visit your Congressional offices, at home and in DC. If you cannot arrange a meeting with your Representative or Senators, meet with an aide. Attend town hall meetings in your district and ask for your Representative's/Senators' position on the SOA and the Prisoners of Conscience. In visits or letters, ask for "co-sponsorship of the bill to close the School of the Americas and a yes vote on any amendment that would cut funding to the SOA. Present our Senators/Representative with a letter signed by civic and religious leaders calling for the closure of the SOA.

For talking points refer to SOA Watch'sWEB SITE , SOAW's newsletter, or write>.

Focus attention on the SOA's horrific reputation throughout Latin America. No action short of closing the school will send the message to the people of Latin America that the human rights violations committed by SOA graduates (and L.A. militaries) will no longer be tolerated.

Write three letters today - to your Representative and both of your Senators.

U.S. House of Representatives Washington, DC 20515 U.S. Senate Washington, DC 20510 202-225-3121 (Capitol Switchboard)

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