On April 26th, Representatives Jimmy Panetta (D-CA-20) and Rick Crawford (R-AR-1) sent a bipartisan letter to the House Appropriations Subcommittee for Defense, calling for increased funding for research and development of demining technology.

The letter, signed by 50 Representatives, calls for a total of $21 million in funding for the U.S. Army’s Humanitarian Demining Research and Development program, which specializes in developing and testing innovative technologies to detect and clear landmines, unexploded ordnance (UXO), and improvised explosive devices (IEDs).

This proposed amount represents a $2 million increase from last year’s appropriation of $19 million. Support from Congress is especially important, as the program is looking at a $10 million cut in the President’s Budget.

“HALO would like to thank Representatives Panetta and Crawford, as well as the 48 other Members who signed on to the letter, for their support of these lifesaving programs. These programs play a crucial role in making demining and UXO clearance safer and more efficient for humanitarian deminers and U.S. servicemembers,” said Kristen Stevens, Head of Congressional Affairs at The HALO Trust (USA).

This letter was also endorsed by Mines Advisory Group (MAG).

The letter was signed by the following Members: Reps. Rick Crawford (AR-1), Jimmy Panetta (CA-20),Don Beyer (VA-8), Earl Blumenauer (OR-3), Anthony Brown (MD-4), Cheri Bustos (IL-17), Andre Carson (IN-7), Jim Costa (CA-16), Jason Crow (CO-6), Madeleine Dean (PA-4), Diana DeGette (CO-1), Debbie Dingell (MI-12), Tom Emmer (MN-6), Anna Eshoo (CA-18), Ruben Gallego (AZ-7), John Garamendi (CA-3), Chuy Garcia (IL-4), Vicente Gonzalez (TX-15), Jahana Hayes (CT-5), Jim Himes (CT-4), Chrissy Houlahan (PA-6), Bill Johnson (OH-6), John Katko (NY-24), Bill Keating (MA-9), Ronin Kelly (IL-2), Rick Larsen (WA-2), Teresa Leger Fernandez (NM-3), Alan Lowenthal (CA-47), Stephen Lynch (MA-8), Brian Mast (FL-18), Lucy McBath (GA-6), Donald McEachin (VA-4), Jim McGovern (MA-2), Jerry McNerney (CA-9), Peter Meijer (MI-3), Barry Moore (AL-2), Eleanor Norton (DC-1), Ilhan Omar (MN-5), Frank Pallone (NJ-6), Chris Pappas (NH-1), Jamie Raskin (MD-8), Gregorio Sablan (MP-1), Linda Sanchez (CA-38), Adam Schiff (CA-28), Brad Schneider (IL-10), Abigail Spanberger (VA-7), Jackie Speier (CA-14), Peter Stauber (MN-8), Marilyn Strickland (WA-10), and Rashida Tlaib (MI-13).