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Dear Colleague Letter

June 25, 2023

Peace Corps, Other International Funding Facing Budget Cuts

For the first time in many years, both the Senate and House Appropriations Committees are both putting forward recommendations that would reduce funding for our nation’s international affairs programs. By Jonathan Pearson More than a month ago, negotiations on the federal debt ceiling which ultimately averted a default of U.S. financial obligations, included an agreement to cap most non-discretionary government spending for the next two years. Now, the Senate and House of Representatives are advancing their respective appropriations bills to fund the federal government for the fiscal year that begins October 1. Our nation's international affairs programs are on the chopping...

April 10, 2023

42 Senators Sign the Peace Corps Funding Letter in support of increased funding for the Peace Corps

U.S. Senator Robert Menendez circulated the annual Dear Colleague Peace Corps Funding letter during the week of April 10th, supporting President Biden's request of a 15 percent increase in Peace Corps funding. 42 Senators signed this year's letter, one short of our record. By Jonathan Pearson   On Monday, April 10, Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ), the Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, began circulating the annual Peace Corps Funding Dear Colleague letter. This year's letter to the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee for State/Foreign Operations, urges support for President Biden's request of $495 million for the Peace Corps — a 15 percent, $65 million increase in funding for Fiscal Year...

March 16, 2023

136 House Reps Sign 2023 Peace Corps Funding Letter!

Following President Biden's March 9th announcement that he is requesting $495 million for the Peace Corps in Fiscal Year 2024, Returned Peace Corps Volunteer Congressman John Garamendi (D-CA) issued the annual Peace Corps Funding Dear Colleague letter. The letter to leaders of the House Appropriations Committee – which urges support for the president's request – secured 136 signatures in less than one week. Four House Republicans (Bacon-NE, Molinaro-NY, Gonzalez-Colon-Puerto Rico, and Radewagen-American Samoa) signed onto this year's letter. Use this link to read the final letter.   Take Action: Review the list of signers below. If your Rep is among those who...

May 10, 2022

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

U.S. Senators Dianne Feinstein and Susan Collins circulated the annual Peace Corps funding letter, seeking a $20 million increase in agency funding. Thanks to your efforts, a record number of senators signed this year's letter. By Jonathan Pearson   Senators Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) and Susan Collins (R-ME) have concluded circulating their annual Peace Corps “Dear Colleague” letter, asking other senators to sign on and ensure robust support for the agency as Volunteers return to service overseas. The letter, addressed to the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on State & Foreign Operations, calls for increasing Peace Corps funding for Fiscal Year 2023 (FY 2023) from $410.5 million to $430.5 million. 43 senators signed this...

April 13, 2022

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 &...

November 24, 2021

November Update: Important Peace Corps Funding Letter Circulating in the House, Calling for Robust Funding to Make Reforms and Meet the Needs of a Changed World

While the House and the Senate seek to reconcile funding recommendations, Rep. Betty McCollum calls on colleagues to back $430.5 million in Peace Corps funding. This increase is crucial for ensuring that the Peace Corps returns to the field better than before, she says, while also making crucial and long overdue reforms.   By Jonathan Pearson   On Capitol Hill, Senate and House negotiators are trying to reconcile differences in their recommendations for federal spending for the new fiscal year (FY 2022). Their timeline to reconcile differences was extended when Congress voted keep the government funded at current levels through February 18,...

September 9, 2021

Peace Corps Funding: The House Says It’s Time to Invest in More

It has been six years since the Peace Corps received a meaningful increase in its baseline funding. Could this be the year that changes? By Jonathon Pearson Illustration by John S. Dykes   In December 2015, President Obama signed an appropriations bill that provided $410 million for the Peace Corps, an increase of about $30 million. Since then, the agency has received a mere $500,000 bump in annual appropriation — one-tenth of 1 percent. Indeed, the Peace Corps community has spent much time in recent years fending off proposed cuts while some needed reforms languished — due, in part, to...

June 23, 2021

Dear Colleague: 39 Senators Say at Least $430 Million for the Peace Corps

As Congress begins to turn its attention to Fiscal Year 2022 appropriations bills, is the Peace Corps poised for a funding increase?   By Jonathan Pearson   There’s a long way to go in the annual appropriations process. But the possibility of a meaningful Peace Corps funding increase — which would be its first in six years — got a boost recently through the annual Senate Peace Corps funding letter. Led by Senators Dianne Feinstein (D–CA) and Susan Collins (R–ME), the letter to the Senate Appropriations Committee for State/Foreign Operations requests “appropriate robust funding in Fiscal Year 2022 of at least $430 million.” Here’s a...

April 28, 2021

Here’s the Score: Bipartisan Support Across the Country for Robust Peace Corps Funding

The “Dear Colleague” letter calling for $450 million in Peace Corps funding draws support from members of Congress across the country. By Jonathan Pearson Just a few weeks ago Rep. John Garamendi (D-CA) and Rep. Garret Graves (R-LA), Co-Chairs of the House Peace Corps Caucus, issued a letter to the House Appropriations Subcommittee on State/Foreign Operations for some long-needed support — and to bolster funding as the Peace Corps agency undertakes to send Volunteers back into the field. The letter calls for increasing Peace Corps funding for Fiscal Year 2022 from $410 million to $450 million. Members of the Peace Corps community mobilized across...

April 7, 2021

In Congress: 156 House Members Support $450 million for Peace Corps

A bipartisan letter from two members of Congress calls on colleagues to sign on to strong support for Peace Corps during this critical time. By Jonathan Pearson   Congressman John Garamendi (D-CA) and Garret Graves (R-LA), Co-Chairs of the House Peace Corps Caucus, have issued a letter to the House Appropriations Subcommittee on State/Foreign Operations for some long-needed support — and to bolster funding as the agency undertakes to send Volunteers back into the field. The letter calls for increasing Peace Corps funding for Fiscal Year 2022 from $410 million to $450 million. You can read the final letter here, or see the list below for a state-by-state...