Action Alerts

When matters of concern to the Baltic-American community face a challenge in Washington, JBANC initiates Action Alert campaigns. Action Alerts promote letter writing by members of the community to inform Congress, the President, and others, of the views of the Baltic-American community on important issues. Action Alerts are posted when the need arises, and can be sent by fax, e-mail, and regular mail. Please contact JBANC if you would like to be a contact person in your community.

May 25, 2006- Ask Congress to Include Baltics in Visa Waiver Program

Washington, DC (JBANC) --- The citizens of twenty-two European countries enjoy visa-free travel privileges to the United States. Notable exceptions to this policy are the Baltic countries (Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania), and Poland, Hungary, Slovakia, and the Czech Republic. All seven are members of both NATO and the EU. Recently, Congress took action to redress this discriminatory policy towards Eastern Europeans, but they haven't gone far enough. We need your help to make sure Congress takes the necessary steps to end discriminatory visa policies towards the citizens of these countries, including the Baltics. More...

February 22, 2006 - Help Support Democracy and Free and Fair Elections in Belarus -
-Co-Sponsors Urgently Needed for H.Res. 673-

Washington, DC (JBANC) --- The Belarus Presidential election is fast approaching and the international community needs to strongly urge Alexander Lukashenko, “Europe’s last dictator,” to hold free and fair elections on March 19. The Lukashenko regime has been increasingly and aggressively suppressing dissent and freedom of speech in that country in what observers believe is an effort to intimidate voters prior to the election. More...

Apr. 23, 2005- Help Explain the Legacy of the Soviet Occupation of the Baltics -
Please Urge Your Representative to Co-Sponsor H.Con.Res.128  

Washington, DC (JBANC) --- With the May 9 event in Moscow to commemorate the end of World War II approaching, it is important that Congress now pass the Concurrent Resolution supporting the admission by the Russian Federation of the Soviet occupation of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania. There is concern that the occasion will be used by the hosts to continue denial of the actions of the USSR towards its Baltic neighbors.

House Baltic Caucus co-chairman John Shimkus (R-IL) introduced House Concurrent Resolution 128 (H. Con. Res. 128) on April 12, asking that the Russian Federation clearly state admission and condemnation of the Soviet Union’s illegal occupation and annexation from 1940 to 1991 of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania. More...

Nov. 24, 2004- JBANC Urges President Bush to Denounce Ukraine Election Fraud

Washington, D.C. (JBANC) --- The Joint Baltic American National Committee, Inc. (JBANC) has written to President Bush urging the United States to “continue to make clear that the fraud that accompanied the Ukrainian presidential elections is not acceptable.”

JBANC further states that this is a “key moment” in the post-Soviet era and that the gains made in the past ten years in the region may be in jeopardy.

Copies of letters to the President were also sent to the Secretary of State, the National Security Council, and Members of Congress. JBANC urges Baltic American groups and individuals to write similar letters to the President and Members of Congress. More...

Oct. 9- House and Senate Conferees to Soon Decide on Radio Legislation -
Calls Still Needed to Members of Congress to Help Save
Baltic VOA and RFE/RL Language Services

Washington, DC (JBANC) --- A conference committee of members from the House and Senate will soon convene to settle differences in the FY04 Commerce, Justice, State (CJS) Appropriations bill. Although the Senate Appropriations committee agreed on September 4 to restore FY03 level funding for Voice of America (VOA) and Radio Free Europe /Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) services (S. 1585), the House Appropriations committee did not include the necessary language in H.R.2799. It is critical that the conferees agree on the Senate report language to restore funding for VOA and RFE/RL broadcasts to the Baltics and Central and Eastern Europe at FY03 levels. If the conferees do not agree on this, the services will be dead.

Sep. 2- Ask Your Senator to Help Restore Funding for Voice of America and Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty Baltic Broadcasts
Senate Subcommittee Scheduled to Mark Up Appropriations Bill on September 4

Washington, DC- The Senate subcommittee that deals with funding for International Broadcasting is scheduled to take up the State Department Appropriations bill on September 4. Funding for Baltic language services at Voice of America and Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty is still marked for elimination by October.

Your help is needed now more than ever to help restore funding for these services. There remains interest within Congress to have funding recovered. However, without constituent input at this critical time, the airwaves to the Baltics will soon become silent. More...

Jul. 25- Calls Needed to Senate Appropriators to Restore Radio Funding

Washington, DC (JBANC) --- Due to an unexpected schedule change, an amendment to the House appropriations bill (H.R. 2799) supporting restoration of funding to continue International Broadcasting in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, and other East and Central European Countries, was introduced late on July 22 and ruled out of order. The missed opportunity was a setback to efforts by constituents to save Voice of America and Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty broadcasting from being eliminated to this region. Despite growing support among House members for the measure, the continuation of International Broadcasting to Central and East Europe was not discussed on the House floor and the bill does not include the necessary funding for those foreign language services. More...

Jul. 10- Calls Needed to House Appropriators to Restore Radio Funding

Washington, DC--- The House Commerce, Justice, State (CJS) subcommittee on July 9 chose not to include allocations in an Appropriations bill that would restore funding to the Voice of America (VOA) and Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) Baltic language services.

The CJS/State Department bill moves to the full Appropriations committee, with further action expected next week. The bill will then go before the full House, possibly the week of July 21. Your help is needed now to prevent closure of all U.S. funded and supported native language broadcasts to Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. The Baltic language services of VOA and RFE/RL are in danger of being eliminated unless the U.S. Congress acts to restore funding to the broadcasts.

To help restore these funds, please contact your Members of Congress. More...

Jul. 8- Appropriations Subcommittee Set to Mark-up Radio Legislation
Ask Your Member of Congress to Help Save Baltic Language Radio Broadcasts

Washington, DC (JBANC) --- The House subcommittee that deals with funding for Baltic language radio services is scheduled to begin deliberation of the State Department Appropriations bill on Wednesday, June 9. Floor votes on both appropriations and authorization bills are also possible in the coming days.

Please contact your Members of Congress to ask them to support the restoration of funding to the Voice of America (VOA) and Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) Baltic language services. More...

May 27-Senate Votes to Enlarge NATO 96-0 on May 8, 2003
Thank Your Senator for Supporting NATO Enlargement

Washington, DC- With the successful conclusion of the NATO enlargement vote in the U.S. Senate, this is an excellent opportunity to thank those who support membership for Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. Please thank your Senator and the President for supporting this round of NATO Enlargement, to include the Baltic countries in the Trans-Atlantic Alliance. More...

Mar. 22- NATO Enlargement Ratification Hearings in Senate Next Week-
Ask Your Senator to Support NATO Enlargement

Washington, DC (JBANC) - Senate Hearings on NATO Enlargement are scheduled to begin next week. The United States Senate Foreign Relations Committee will thus begin the process of ratifying the NATO Protocols of Accession, to amend the NATO Treaty. It is hoped that the Senate will vote on NATO enlargement in the coming months, possibly by late spring or early summer. More...


Washington, DC (JBANC) - Resolutions supporting the importance of NATO and its enlargement and support for Baltic NATO membership, are poised to be brought up in House committee next week. H. Res. 468, sponsored by Rep. Elton Gallegly (R-CA), and H. Con. Res. 116, sponsored by Rep. John Shimkus (R-IL), are scheduled to be marked up together by the House International Relations committee on September 25. Action on the measures is expected in the days immediately following the mark-up. More...

Apr. 26- Urge Your Senator To Support S. 1572
Senate Vote On Freedom Consolidation Act Is Imminent

Washington, DC (JBANC) A vote on the Freedom Consolidation Act, a bill endorsing a bipartisan vision of further NATO enlargement, is expected to occur in a matter of days, possibly next week. This is a last chance to help affect a positive vote on this legislation. More...


Support needed to pass Freedom Consolidation Act S. 1572

Washington, DC (JBANC) JBANC has learned that the Senate is now expected to debate the Freedom Consolidation Act (S.1572) and vote on it as early as the last week of March. Please let your Senators know immediately that the passage of this legislation is important to you and that you are counting on them to cast an affirmative vote.

If at all possible, collect a few fellow voters and visit your Senator’s local office with the above message. If that is not feasible, write a letter, call or fax.

Passage of the Freedom Consolidation Act is vital to all Americans of Estonian, Latvian and Lithuanian heritage. The Act endorses the enlargement of NATO in 2002 to include all three Baltic countries in addition to other qualified European democracies that have applied. Financial support to assist them in preparing for NATO membership is also authorized. The House of Representatives has approved this legislation by a large margin of votes from both parties. However, prospects in the Senate are less certain.

Your prompt representation to your Senators or their staffers may make a huge difference in the outcome of the Senate vote. Please act now.

Dec. 20- Sen. John Warner (R-VA) places hold on Freedom Consolidation Act

Washington, DC (JBANC) On December 19, Sen. John Warner (R-VA) placed a hold on pending consideration of the Freedom Consolidation Act, a bill which endorses a bipartisan vision of further NATO enlargement. Sen. Warner’s actions effectively postpone action on the bill until after the New Year, when a formal debate and vote are expected. Formal NATO enlargement ratification is not foreseen until after invitations to the Alliance are issued at the Prague Summit in November 2002. More...

Nov. 9- Ask Your Senator To Support NATO Enlargement By Co-Sponsoring S. 1572

Your help is greatly needed in getting more Senate co-sponsors for S. 1572 - the Freedom Consolidation Act. Please write to your local Senate offices and also consider faxing copies of your letter to the Senate offices in Washington, DC. This legislation is a barometer of the position of Congress on further NATO enlargement. More...

Aug. 31- NATO Petition Campaign Drive Nears Successful Conclusion

Washington, DC (JBANC) – Over 25,000 signatures have been gathered by Baltic-American organizations asking President Bush to support the membership of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania into NATO at the Prague Summit in 2002. The Joint Baltic American National Committee, Inc. (JBANC), together with representatives of other Baltic American organizations, intends to present the petitions to the Administration on September 10. More...


Washington, DC (JBANC) The following Senators have indicated that they will join Senator Gordon Smith (R-OR) as part of the Congressional delegation to the NATO Parliamentary Assembly meeting in Vilnius on May 27-31: More...

May 2- Ask Your Congressman and Senator to Support Baltic Resolutions

H. Con. Res. 116 and S. Con. Res. 34 Washington, DC (JBANC) Congressman John Shimkus (R-IL) has introduced House Concurrent Resolution 116 on April 26, recommending the integration of Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia into the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). The three Baltic countries, states the language, should be invited to join NATO in 2002. More...

Apr. 18- Sign a Petition to Support NATO Enlargement to the Baltics

Join others nationwide in promoting transatlantic security and stability - ask President Bush to support NATO enlargement for the Baltics.
Submit electronically or download the petition.
Expand NATO to Baltics!


Washington, DC (JBANC) – The Joint Baltic American National Committee, Inc. (JBANC) is intensifying its campaign to inform the Administration and Congress about the importance of including Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania in the next round of NATO enlargement. JBANC is addressing the issue through letters, petitions and visits to Congressional offices. More...

Action Alert Index

2000 INDEX:

  • July 24- Call your congressman and senator to protest massive cuts in defense assistance to Baltic countries and Central and Eastern Europe.
  • June 29- Support Sought for Legislation Marking U.S. Non-recognition Policy
  • May 3- Ask Members of the House Baltic Caucus to Co-Sponsor H.R.4249
  • March 10- Co-Sponsors Sought to Support H.Con.Res.258 (Congratulating Lithuania...)
  • 1999 INDEX:

  • July 1- Call your Senator to Oppose Amendment No. 1165
  • 1998 INDEX:

  • Oct. 29- Elections! Urge Your Legislator to Join Baltic Caucus
  • Oct. 7- Support Baltic Funding in Foreign Operations Bill
  • Sept. 16- House Foreign Operations Bill
  • Sept. 3- House and Senate Baltic Caucus
  • July 27- Senate to debate and vote on Foreign Operations
  • July 13- House Subcommittee Foreign Ops mark-up
  • July 1- Foreign Operations Appropriations Mark-up
  • ?May 20- House Budget Committee to Mark-up FY99 Budget
  • Apr. 27- Urge Senate to Vote Against Bingaman Amendment
  • Apr. 14- NATO Debate to Resume in Senate
  • Mar. 16- Call on Senate to Vote YES for NATO Enlargement
  • Mar. 10- Senate Budget Committee to Mark-up FY99 Budget
  • Feb. 26- Senate Foreign Relations Committee to Consider NATO Treaty

  • Octobr 17, 2008 - President Bush Discusses the Visa Waiver Program
    Office of the Press Secretary/ White House News

    THE PRESIDENT: Thank you all. (Applause.) Please be seated, thank you. Welcome to the White House. I'm pleased to stand with the representatives of seven countries -- the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Slovakia, and South Korea -- that have met the requirements to be admitted to the United States Visa Waiver Program. Soon the citizens of these nations will be able to travel to the United States for business or tourism without a visa. I congratulate these close friends and allies on this achievement, and I thank you for joining us here.

    I also thank Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Secretary of the Homeland -- Department of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff for working hard to make sure this day has finally arrived. Appreciate other members of the administration here and members of the Diplomatic Corps.

    The Joint Baltic American National Committee, Inc.
    400 Hurley Avenue
    Rockville, MD 20850-3121
    tel. 301-340-1954
    fax: 301-309-1406