Congressional Action on Peace Corps
By Erica Burman on Wednesday, June 30th, 2010
This afternoon, the House Appropriations Subcommittee for State and Foreign Operations approved a spending plan for the next fiscal year that includes $446 million for the Peace Corps. This figure matches President Obama’s Fiscal Year 2011 funding request and represents an 11.5% increase over current Peace Corps funding.
“Given the challenging fiscal environment facing our nation and the Congress, this 11.5 percent increase in funding is good news for the Peace Corps and a positive testament to the ongoing advocacy to thousands of individuals who have reached out to the House of Representatives to urge robust funding for the Peace Corps,” said National Peace Corps Association President Kevin Quigley. Follow this link to read NPCA’s recent letter to State/Foreign Operations Chairwoman Nita Lowey. Similar letters were sent to other members of the Subcommittee.
Along with action in the House, the Senate is poised to give final approval to RPCV Senator Chris Dodd’s Peace Corps Improvement and Expansion Act. Unanimous approval of the legislation could come before the July 4 recess. The legislation calls upon the Peace Corps to conduct an assessment and strategic plan. While Peace Corps earlier this month produced such a document, the Dodd bill includes additional questions not fully addressed in the agency assessment – including incorporating the views of volunteers in operation and management decisions, extending benefits for volunteers completing their service, and procedures followed by the agency following the death of a volunteer. The legislation would also place a cap on the number of Presidential appointees serving at Peace Corps headquarters.