Menendez, Dodd, Kerry, Lugar, Bipartisan Group Of Senators Express Support For Aggressive Response To Haiti Crisis

Menendez, Dodd, Kerry, Lugar, Bipartisan Group Of Senators Express Support For Aggressive Response To Haiti Crisis

Washington - Senator Chris Dodd (D-CT), Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman John Kerry (D-MA), and Committee Ranking Member Richard Lugar (R-IN)-along with a bipartisan group of Senators-today sent a letter to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton expressing support for an aggressive United States humanitarian response to the earthquake in Haiti.

In the letter, the senators pledged to work with Secretary Clinton, the State Department and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) to speed recovery efforts in Haiti following yesterday's earthquake.

"An aggressive and coordinated international effort-with active leadership from the United States-is essential in order to save lives and prevent further devastation," the senators wrote. "This tragedy presents enormous challenges, not only to the people of Haiti, but also to the international community's efforts and ability to respond. We want to assure you that we stand ready to assist you, Administrator Shah, and the administration in both the immediate response to the crisis and to the longer term plan for recovery."

The letter, which can be found in full below, was also signed by Senators Leahy (D-VT), Bingaman (D-NM), Harkin (D-IA), Durbin (D-IL), Menendez (D-NJ), Corker (R-TN), and Barrasso (R-WY).

Dear Secretary Clinton,

We write to express our deep concern over the tragic loss of life and devastating destruction in the aftermath of Tuesday's earthquake in Haiti, and to express our support for your efforts to respond quickly and aggressively to this crisis. Our thoughts and prayers are with the people of Haiti and the thousands of Americans who have friends and family affected by this disaster.

We appreciate the strong public statement made today by the President as well as the efforts that you and the State Department have already taken. An aggressive and coordinated international effort-with active leadership from the United States-is essential in order to save lives and prevent further devastation.

This tragedy presents enormous challenges, not only to the people of Haiti, but also to the international community's efforts and ability to respond. We want to assure you that we stand ready to assist you, Administrator Shah, and the administration in both the immediate response to the crisis and to the longer term plan for recovery.

Please do not hesitate to contact us or our staff if we can be of any assistance.

Sincerely,

###