Washington DC, June 28, 2017: The delegation led by Richard Gere, Chairman of the ICT board, lobbied at the Capitol on June 27 to 28, 2017 to request the US senators and representatives particularly to reinstate the budget cut proposed by the US administration for the Tibetan programs in Tibet and in exile, to appoint at the earliest the Special Coordinator for Tibet at the State Department and co-sponsor or support the Reciprocal Access to Tibet Bill, which has been introduced in both the House and the Senate.
Representative Penpa Tsering, ICT President Matteo Mecacci, ICT Vice President Buchung Tsering, Programs Officer Tenchoe Gyatso and Tsering Tashi were part of the delegation.
The delegation met with 15 senators and congressmen over the last two days. On June 27th morning, they had an hour long meeting with House Foreign Affairs Committee member Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), Jim McGovern (D-MA), Ted Yoho (R-FL), Ted Duetsch (D-FL), Steve Chabot (R-OH), and Brad Sherman (D-CA).
Later, the delegation met with House Appropriations Committee Chairman Congressman Harold Rogers (R-Kentucky), Congresswoman Nita Lowey (D-NY), Ranking member, House Appropriations Committee and Congresswoman Betty McCollum (D-MN), member of the House Appropriations Committee.
On the same day in late evening, His Holiness’ birthday celebration was attended by, among others, ten bipartisan members of Congress who reiterated their continued support for the Tibet cause, including Congressmen Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), Luise M. Slaughter (D-NY), Jim Sensenbrenner (R-Wisconsin), Joyce Beatty (D-Ohio), Jim McGovern (D-MA), Judy Chu (D-CA), Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas), Betty McCollum (D-MN), Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) and Pramila Jayapal (D-Washington),
On the morning of June 28th, the delegation met with Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vermont), Ranking member, Senate Appropriation committee, Senator Bernie Sanders (Vermont), and Congresswoman Judy Chu (D-CA) at the Capitol.
The House and Senate Appropriations Committee members assured their full support for the Reciprocal Access to Tibet Bill, to put the Tibet support programs back on track to the 2017 level, the appointment of the Special Coordinator for Tibet in the State Department and exhibited their highest regards for His Holiness the Dalai Lama.