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"Dear Colleague" Letters: A Brief Overview

Description: “Dear Colleague” letters are official correspondence distributed in bulk to Members in both chambers. Primarily, they are used by one or more Members to persuade others to cosponsor or oppose a bill (generally, prior to introduction). Dear Colleague letters might also inform Members of an event connected with congressional business, of new or modified House procedures, or of some other matter. The use of the phrase “‘Dear Colleague’ letter” to refer to a widely distributed letter among Members dates at least to the start of the 20th century. New technologies and expanded use of the Internet have increased the speed and facilitated the process of preparing Dear Colleague letters.
Date: January 4, 2005
Creator: Petersen, R. Eric
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department