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Congressional Candidate Favors Dropping Debt For Haiti and Other Impoverished Countries
Marina del Rey, CA, January 20, 2010 -- Congressional Candidate Marcy Winograd (CA-36) applauds the Obama administration’s commitment to grant Haiti 100-million dollars in immediate support, and urged the President and Congress to do everything in their power to cancel Haiti’s remaining international debt.
“With a death toll expected to hit 200,000, a lack of clean running water and food, and hospitals in ruins, the last thing Haiti can afford right now is a high-interest loan payment that increases its debt burden,” says Winograd. “The history of Haiti is the history of colonization and exploitation by richer countries, so it is important for the U.S. and Europe to pay its debt to Haiti in the way of grants, rather than loans.”
In June, 2009, the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund forgave Haiti 1.2 billion of its debt, erasing approximately two-thirds of Haiti’s debt, according to the Jubilee organization, a coalition of 75 religious and human rights groups.
Winograd urges congress members to co-sponsor Congresswoman Maxine Waters' bill, HR 4405, Jubilee Act for Debt Relief, which would relieve Haiti and additional countries of onerous interest payments on U.S. loans and international loans.
“Whereas my opponent, Jane Harman, failed to co-sponsor or vote for Congresswoman Waters’ previous debt-relief bill, I would urge others to champion such legislation,” says Winograd, adding, “interest payments can cost more than a nation’s annual expenditures on medicine.”
Congresswoman Waters' latest debt-relief bill was introduced with bi-partisan support in the House of Representatives. From southern California, Congresswoman Laura Richardson (CA-37/Long Beach) is listed as a co-sponsor. Jane Harman is not listed as a co-sponsor.
Congresswoman Waters’ previous debt relief bill, H.R. 2634, The Jubilee Act for Responsible Lending & Expanded Debt Cancellation, passed 285-132, April 16, 2008, in the House, but was then referred to committee in the Senate. Previous co-sponsors of Waters’ debt relief efforts included Brad Sherman (CA-27/Sherman Oaks), and Howard Berman (CA-28/Van Nuys) . Harman, however, was not listed as a co-sponsor, and was recorded as “Not Voting” when the majority of the House passed the bill.
Congresswoman Waters’ bill, HR 4405, calls on the U.S. Treasury to negotiate a multilateral agreement for debt cancellation for up to 22 poverty-stricken countries, while urging the adoption of more responsible lending practices.
In a related matter, Winograd has joined U2 Irish rocker Bono’s efforts to “Drop the Debt” - signing a petition, along with 70,000 others, at One.org, calling on the World Bank and other creditors to cancel Haiti’s debt payments. Through social networks, Winograd is urging campaign supporters to follow suit.
To learn more about the Winograd For Congress campaign, visit:
Campaign Manager, Winograd for Congress
Ph: (818) 445 4520