The Peace Corps Commemorative
- House Committee Unanimously Approves Commemorative: On December 4th, the House Natural Resources Committee gave unanimous approval to commemorative legislation.
- Co-sponsor List Grows: During the two-week period of November 18 – December 2, 18 additional lawmakers co-sponsored H.R. 915, bringing the total to 72.
- House Hearing Held on Legislation: On November 21, 2013, the eve of the 50th anniversary of President Kennedy’s assassination, the House Natural Resources Public Lands Subcommittee held a key public hearing on Peace Corps commemorative legislation.
Facts and Talking Points:
Peace Corps commemorative legislation in the Senate (S. 230) was introduced by Senators Rob Portman (R-OH) and Mark Udall (D-CO). It was unanimously approved on June 19, 2013.
Peace Corps commemorative legislation in the House was introduced by Massachusetts RPCV Congressman Joseph Kennedy III (Dominican Republic 2004-06). He was joined by the other four RPCV members of Congress (Tom Petri of Wisconsin, and California Congressmen Sam Farr, Mike Honda and John Garamendi).
Read this one page summary about Peace Corps Commemorative legislation.
Read Senate Bill 230
Read House Bill 915
Below you will find the list (and key contact information) for all members of the House Natural Resources Committee who have not yet co-sponsored House Bill 915.
If you are represented by any of these members, please contact them and urge them to:
- Become a co-sponsor of House Bill 915, bi-partisan Peace Corps Commemorative legislation.
- Lead efforts to bring this legislation to final approval in the House of Representatives.
- Feel free to use or modify the following email in sending your message. Please personalize your message if possible, explaining why the founding of the Peace Corps in 1961 is worthy of commemoration. Then…ask other family or neighbors to send a similar message.
Dear Representative _______,
I write to ask you to co-sponsor House Bill 915, legislation to authorize the creation of a modest commemorative work near the National Mall to mark the historic and enduring significance of the establishment of the Peace Corps in 1961 and the ideals its founding represents.
I am thrilled that the Senate gave bi-partisan, unanimous approval to this legislation earlier this year. As you likely know, companion bi-partisan legislation is before the House Natural Resources Committee. Please lead efforts to see that this legislation is brought swiftly to the House floor for final passage.
Representative _____, your co-sponsorship is critical to building the momentum needed to pass this bill.
Construction of this modest commemorative will be financed entirely by private sector contributions. The legislation specifies that no taxpayer dollars will be used to fund this project. However, congressional authorization is required under the federal Commemorative Works Act in order for this proposal to proceed.
There has been tremendous bi-partisan progress to pass Peace Corps Commemorative legislation. I respectfully ask you to co-sponsor the legislation and provide the leadership needed to build momentum for final congressional passage.
Thank you for considering this request and I look forward to your reply.
(Peace Corps Service if applicable)
House Natural Resources Committee:
The following lawmakers are members of the House Natural Resources Committee who have not yet co-sponsored House Bill 915, Peace Corps Commemorative legislation (lawmakers in bold are members of the important Public Lands Subcommittee):
Doc Hastings (R-WA) 202-225-5816
Louie Gohmert (R-TX) 202-225-3035
Rob Bishop (R-UT) 202-225-0453
Doug Lamborn (R-CO) 202-225-4422
Rob Wittman (R-VA) 202-225-4261
Paul Broun, Jr. (R-GA) 202-225-4101
John Fleming, Jr. (R-LA) 202-225-2777
Tom McClintock (R-CA) 202-225-2511
G.T. Thompson (R-PA) 202-225-5121
Cynthia Lummis (R-WY) 202-225-2311
Dan Benishek (R-MI) 202-225-4735
Jeff Duncan (R-SC) 202-225-5301
Scott R. Tipton (R-CO) 202-225-4761
Dr. Paul Gosar (R-AZ) 202-225-2315
Raul Labrador (R-ID) 202-225-6611
Steve Southerland II (R-FL) 202-225-5235
Bill Flores (R-TX) 202-225-6105
Jon Runyan (R-NJ) 202-225-4765
Mark Amodei (R-NV) 202-225-6155
Chris Stewart (R-UT) 202-225-9730
Steve Daines (R-MT) 202-225-3211
Kevin Cramer (R-ND) 202-225-2611
Doug LaMalfa (R-CA)202-225-3076
Jason Smith (R-MO) 202-225-4404
Pete DeFazio (D-OR) 202-225-6416
Eni Faleomavaega (D-AS) 202-225-8577
Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ) 202-225-4671
Grace Napolitano (D-CA) 202-225-5256
Rush Holt (D-NJ) 202-225-5801
Jim Costa (D-CA) 202-225-3341
Gregorio Sablan (D-MP) 202-225-2646
Niki Tsongas (D-MA) 202-225-3411
Pedro Pierluisi (D-PR) 202-225-2615
Colleen Hanabusa (D-HI) 202-225-2726
Steven Horsford (D-NV) 202-225-9894
Jared Huffman (D-CA) 202-225-5161
Dr. Raul Ruiz (D-CA) 202-225-5330
Carol Shea-Porter (D-NH) 202-225-5456
Alan Lowenthal (D-CA) 202-225-7924
Joe Garcia (D-FL) 202-225-2778
Matthew Cartwright (D-PA) 202-225-5546
The following lawmakers are members of the House Natural Resources Committee who have already co-sponsored the Peace Corps. Members listed below should be thanked for their leadership and urged to lead efforts for final passage (lawmakers in bold are members of the important Public Lands Subcommittee):
Don Young (R-AK) 202-225-5765
Markwayne Mullin (R-OK) 202-225-2701
Raul Grijalva (D-AZ) 202-225-2435
Madeleine Bordallo (D-GU) 202-225-1188
Tony Cardenas (D-CA) 202-225-6131
Since its founding in 1961, the Peace Corps has been a testament to the American ideals of humanitarian service, global peace and friendship, and an unwavering commitment to building a better world for all of humanity. It has been, as eminent historian Doris Kearns Goodwin describes, “an enduring American legacy of service in the cause of peace, a timeless symbol of some of America’s most honorable ideals and aspirations.”
In order to honor such a monumental legacy, the National Peace Corps Association established the Peace Corps Commemorative Foundation to urge our legislators to authorize the construction of a commemorative work in the nation’s capital, marking the historic and enduring significance of the establishment of the Peace Corps and the American ideals upon which it was founded.
The Peace Corps Commemorative Foundation is envisioning a modest urban landscape near the Washington D.C. monumental core, in which visitors to D.C. can stroll and gather while contemplating the Peace Corps’ pivotal establishment and its vision for international understanding and peace through service. The commemorative would not be a memorial to any particular individuals nor to the agency itself, but rather would celebrate the Peace Corps’ founding as the first-ever international service organization of its kind in the history of the world.
Significant progress towards passage has been achieved in the past three years.
2010: In 2010, RPCV Congressman Sam Farr (D-CA) introduced legislation into the House of Representatives to approve such a commemorative. In his 2010 speech presenting the legislation, Representative Farr described the Commemorative as ”a place to contemplate the spirit of hope that gave rise to the…creation of a unique form of public service that seeks peace through international service, people-to-people diplomacy, and cross-cultural understanding.”
With such a champion for the Peace Corps on Capitol Hill, the 2010 legislation passed unanimously in the House.
2011: When a new Congress began its work in 2011, identical legislation was re-introduced on March 1st, the 50th Anniversary of President Kennedy’s executive order to establish the Peace Corps. Authored by RPCV Congressman Sam Farr (D-CA) and supported by fellow RPCVs Tom Petri (R-WI), Mike Honda (D-CA) and John Garamendi (D-CA).
View historian statements on the legislation (NOTE: This document was prepared in 2011. In this previous session of Congress the legislation had a different number – H.R. 854)
In late July, 2011, companion legislation was introduced in the Senate. Led by Senator Rob Portman (R-OH), the legislation was co-sponsored by Senator Mark Udall (D-CO). With a growing list of co-sponsors, the legislation was unanimously passed by the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee.
2012: By 2012, Peace Corps Commemorative legislation had strong bi-partisan support in both chambers, with nearly 160 co-sponsors in the House of Representatives and 22 co-sponsors in the Senate.
A major breakthrough for the legislation came in the closing days of 2012, when the Senate unanimously approved the legislation. This news was tempered however in the House of Representatives, where the bill was not brought forward for final passage. However, both chambers of Congress were now on record as having given unanimous approval to the legislation.
2013: Just five weeks after the United States Senate gave unanimous approval to Peace Corps Commemorative legislation, Senators Rob Portman (R-OH) and Mark Udall (D-CO) re-introduced the bill — now Senate Bill 230 — in the new, 113th Congress.
“For over 50 years, the Peace Corps has served as a powerful vehicle for volunteers who wish to use their talents to carry America’s humanitarian values to other parts of the world,” said Senator Portman, the lead sponsor of the legislation. Senator Udall, who Chairs the National Parks Subcommittee which has jurisdiction over the bill, noted how “the Peace Corps reflects the spirit of public service and global engagement that help us – in the words of JFK – ’to move the world down the road to peace.’ ”
On February 28, 2013, RPCV Congressman Joseph Kennedy III announced introduced legislation the Peace Corps Commemorative legislation in the House of Representatives — now House Bill 915 — with all four RPCV lawmakers (Farr, Petri, Honda and Garamendi) signing on as original co-sponsors. You can read the press release from Congressman Kennedy here.