Signs Look Promising for the Next Peace Corps Budget

Appropriations Committee in House of Representatives signals ongoing Congressional support. But this is just a first step.

By Jonathan Pearson

 

Amid growing talk of another round of COVID-19 emergency relief legislation, Congress is moving along with some of its regular responsibilities. This includes the annual appropriations process where the initial, early returns pertaining to Peace Corps are positive.

Early Thursday afternoon, the full House Appropriations Committee passed (on a party line vote) a proposed Fiscal Year 2021 State/Foreign Operations spending plan that includes steady funding of $410.5 million for Peace Corps. The bill will next go to the full House of Representatives for consideration.

“This is only a first step. There is a long way to go. We must remain vigilant and engaged as a community like never before.”
   — NPCA President and CEO Glenn Blumhorst

“In this period of intense global challenges coupled with deep concerns about our national economy, this action by Appropriations Chairwoman Nita Lowey and the full committee is a promising sign for Peace Corps,” said National Peace Corps Association President and CEO Glenn Blumhorst. “This is only a first step. There is a long way to go. We must remain vigilant and engaged as a community like never before. But this week’s action by the Appropriations Committee is a key confirmation of ongoing congressional support for Peace Corps.”

Today’s vote followed similar approval Monday by the Appropriations Subcommittee for State/Foreign Operations. Read this summary of the proposed spending plan for Fiscal Year 2021.

Read this statement on the overall spending plan from the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition.

Representative Ed Case (D-HI) stated that any nation — whether friend or foe — would attest that Peace Corps has been and remains as one of the best projections of U.S. values around the world.

At least one lawmaker referenced Peace Corps’ importance during discussion prior to today’s passage. In his Thursday remarks, Representative Ed Case (D-HI) stated that any nation — whether friend or foe — would attest that Peace Corps has been and remains as one of the best projections of U.S. values around the world.

Support for strong FY 2021 Peace Corps funding was led earlier this year by the Co-Chairs of the House Peace Corps Caucus – RPCV John Garamendi (D-CA), RPCV Joe Kennedy III (D-MA), and Garrett Graves (R-LA) – who issued their annual Peace Corps funding Dear Colleague letter. With active support from the NPCA community, this letter was signed by a bipartisan group of 167 House members.