Two weeks after finally signing a Fiscal Year 2022 spending package into law, President Biden has sent his Fiscal Year 2023 budget to Capitol Hill. His proposal requests a $20 million increase for the Peace Corps.
By Jonathan Pearson
For the first time in six years the executive branch has submitted a Peace Corps budget increase to Congress — two weeks after the budget for fiscal year 2022 was passed. President Biden has sent Capitol Hill his Fiscal Year 2023 budget proposal – for the fiscal year that begins next October 1st – requesting $430.5 million for the Peace Corps.
“The president’s Peace Corps request is a step in the right direction as the agency begins to send Volunteers back into the field,” said National Peace Corps Association President & CEO Glenn Blumhorst.
The $20 million increase represents a nearly five percent uptick from current spending. It is the same level of funding recommended in the previous budget by the House of Representatives last July.
“The president’s Peace Corps request is a step in the right direction as the agency begins to send Volunteers back into the field,” said National Peace Corps Association President & CEO Glenn Blumhorst. “This request also reflects the importance for Congress to pass Peace Corps reauthorization legislation, which our community has championed over the past year. This will help to strengthen the Peace Corps as it begins plans to send Volunteers to more than 20 countries in the upcoming months. We are thankful for all of the hard work of our community partners, as we continue to advocate and envision a stronger Peace Corps, prepared to address the challenges of the future.”
News of the president’s Peace Corps budget comes following the Peace Corps announcement that the first 35 Volunteers have returned to service in Zambia and the Dominican Republic, almost two years after programs were suspended to the COVID-19 pandemic. Another 22 nations have been cleared to receive Volunteers in the months ahead.
Last week, First Lady Jill Biden greeted Volunteers at the White House prior to their return to service. In celebration of the historic moment, the first lady shared video footage from the visit on Facebook with the message, “Our Peace Corps Volunteers make an investment in our world — one project, one friendship at a time. I am so proud of these Volunteers who are returning to service overseas for the first time since March 2020.”
President Biden's Peace Corps request is part of his $67.7 billion Fiscal Year 2023 International Affairs Budget. That request represents a 17 percent increase over current funding. Read this press release from the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition on the president's request.
NPCA's advocacy team is currently in conversation with congressional offices regarding the annual Peace Corps funding Dear Colleague letters. Be on the lookout for important action opportunities in the weeks to come.