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Action Alert: Ask Your House Rep to Sign the Peace Corps Funding Letter to Provide Robust Support for Volunteers as They Return to Service Overseas

In the House of Representatives, today (April 22) is the deadline for a bipartisan letter from the co-chairs of the Peace Corps Caucus seeking a $40 million increase in agency funding. Now is the time to contact your House Rep and ask them to sign this letter.

 

By Jonathan Pearson

 

Congressmen John Garamendi (D-CA) and Garret Graves (R-LA), co-chairs of the House Peace Corps Caucus, have begun circulating a Peace Corps funding letter asking other House members to sign on and ensure robust support for the agency as Volunteers return to service overseas. The letter, addressed to the House Appropriations Subcommittee on State & Foreign Operations, calls for increasing Peace Corps funding for Fiscal Year 2023 from $410.5 million to $450 million.

Read the annual Dear Colleague Peace Corps funding letter, or find the text at the bottom of this post.

 

Garamendi served with the Peace Corps in Ethiopia. Together with Graves, in 2021 he introduced the Peace Corps Reauthorization Act — the most sweeping Peace Corps legislation in decades.

In March 2022, Volunteers began returning to service overseas. They will be returning to dozens of countries in the months ahead. The Peace Corps agency has undertaken critical reforms to ensure a better and stronger Peace Corps for a changed world. But the agency needs funding to make all this possible.

Deadline is This Friday, April 22 at 12 Noon EST. Take action now.

Urge your House Representative to sign the Garamendi-Graves Peace Corps funding letter to support strong funding for Peace Corps in a changed world. Last year, a similar letter was signed by 156 members of the House of Representatives. We need your help to reach or surpass this mark! The current deadline to sign this letter is Friday, April 22, 2022.

 

Take Action Now

 

 


Who has signed the letter so far?

Here are the lawmakers who have signed the Garamendi-Graves Peace Corps Funding Dear Colleague Letter for Fiscal Year 2023.

 

DEADLINE to sign on: 12 Noon Friday, April 22, 2022

SIGNATURES as of Friday, April 22, 5:00 PM: 146 (THIS LETTER IS NOW CLOSED)

SIGNATURES needed to reach our goal: 10

 

Alabama: Sewell

American Samoa: Radewagen

Arizona: Gallego, Grijalva

California: Barragan, Bass, Bera, Brownley, Carbajal, Cardenas, Chu, Correa, Costa, DeSaulnier, Eshoo, Garamendi (co-author), Huffman, Khanna, Young Kim, LaMalfa, Mike Levin, Lieu, Lofgren, Lowenthal, Matsui, McNerney, Panetta, Scott Peters, Sanchez, Speier, Swalwell, Takano, Mike Thompson, Vargas

Colorado: Crow, DeGette

Connecticut: Courtney, Hayes, Himes, Larson

District of Columbia: Norton

Florida: Deutch, Soto

Georgia: Bishop, McBath, Hank Johnson, David Scott, Williams

Hawai’i: Kahele

Illinois: Bustos, Casten, Danny Davis, Rodney Davis, Foster, Chuy Garcia, Kelly, Schakowsky, Schneider

Indiana: Carson

Iowa: Axne

Kansas: Davids

Kentucky: Barr, Yarmuth

Louisiana: Graves (co-author)

Maine: Golden, Pingree

Maryland: Brown, Raskin, Sarbanes

Massachusetts: Auchincloss, Keating, Lynch, McGovern, Moulton, Neal, Pressley, Trahan

Michigan: Dingell, Kildee, Levin, Slotkin, Stevens

Minnesota: Craig, Phillips

Nevada: Horsford, Titus

New Hampshire: Kuster

New Jersey: Andy Kim, Malinowski, Pascrell, Payne, Sherrill, Sires, Van Drew

New York: Clarke, Delgado, Higgins, Jones, Katko, Carolyn Maloney, Sean Patrick Maloney, Meeks, Morelle, Rice, Suozzi, Tonko, Velazquez

Northern Marianas: Sablan

North Carolina: Adams, Butterfield, Manning

Ohio: Beatty, Shontel Brown

Oregon: Blumenauer, Bonamici, DeFazio

Pennsylvania: Boyle, Doyle, Evans, Wild

Puerto Rico: Gonzalez-Colon

Rhode Island: Cicilline, Langevin

Tennessee: Cohen

Texas: Allred, Castro, Doggett, Escobar, Vicente Gonzalez, E.B. Johnson, Jackson Lee, Veasey

Vermont: Welch

Virginia: Beyer, Connolly, Luria, McEachin, Wexton

Virgin Islands: Plaskett

Washington: DelBene, Jayapal, Larsen, Schrier, Strickland

Wisconsin: Kind, Moore

 

 

Here’s the text of the House Peace Corps funding letter.

Read it below — or download the PDF.

April 28, 2022

 

The Honorable Barbara Lee, Chairwoman
Subcommittee on State, Foreign Operations and Related Programs
Committee on Appropriations
U.S. House of Representatives

The Honorable Hal Rogers, Ranking Member
Subcommittee on State, Foreign Operations and Related Programs
Committee on Appropriations
U.S. House of Representatives

 

Dear Chairwoman Lee and Ranking Member Rogers:

We respectfully request that you provide $450 million for the Peace Corps in the forthcoming “Department of State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs Appropriations Act” for fiscal year 2023. This funding level would allow the Peace Corps to resume in-country Volunteer activities, once safe and prudent to do so, and support the longstanding goal of deploying 10,000 volunteers worldwide. It is also consistent with the authorized funding level in the bipartisan “Peace Corps Reauthorization Act” (H.R.1456) reported favorably by the House Committee on Foreign Affairs on September 30, 2021.

More Americans want to serve than the Peace Corps has the funding to absorb. The ratio of annual applications to available Volunteer positions currently stands at over 4:1. In 2013, retired General Stanley McChrystal called this gap between applicants and national service opportunities like the Peace Corps “democratic energy wasted and a generation of patriotism needlessly squandered.”

Peace Corps Volunteers serve our country in remote, challenging environments. In recent years, the Peace Corps has taken steps to improve the health and safety of its Volunteers. We believe the Peace Corps needs to do more, including fully implementing the Sam Farr Nick Castle Peace Corps Reform Act of 2018 (Public Law 115-256). Increased funding is necessary to ensure that the Peace Corps can fulfill its commitment to the health and safety of American citizens who choose to serve. In addition, Congress must increase the federal workers’ compensation levels for Volunteers temporarily or permanently disabled because of their service abroad.

Thank you for your leadership and past efforts to provide the Peace Corps with the resources needed to support the next generation of American leaders who volunteer abroad.

 

Sincerely,

 

John Garamendi
Member of Congress

 

Garret Graves
Member of Congress

 

Story updated April 25, 2022 at 3:00 p.m. Eastern


Jonathan Pearson is Director of Advocacy for National Peace Corps Association. Write him at [email protected]