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Dear Colleague Letter

  • Jonathan Pearson posted an article
    With your help we can get a record number of signatures on this annual letter. see more

    A bipartisan letter from two members of Congress calls on colleagues to sign on to strong support for Peace Corps during this critical time. To ensure support, your Representative needs to hear from you in the next two weeks.

    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 colleagues in the House of Representative calling for robust funding for Peace Corps. They are asking 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. (For details, see the letter at the end of this post.)

    The goal: Increase Peace Corps funding for Fiscal Year 2022 from $410 million to $450 million.

    The task for the Peace Corps community: Reach out to members of the House and get them to sign on — before the deadline of April 23.

    Our show of support is critical to ensure robust funding for the Peace Corps. We have only two weeks to deliver. 


    Take Action

    This is an action only for the House of Representatives. A similar action in the Senate is expected later. We’ll share that news as soon as we have it. 

    Here’s what you can do today: Contact your Representative and urge them to sign on to the Garamendi-Graves Peace Corps funding Dear Colleague letter.

    Share this news post with others you know who support the Peace Corps and urge them to take action, too. Peace Corps Volunteers can help tackle problems in communities around the world — and they’re being enlisted to help across the United States during the pandemic. Let’s make sure they have the support they need to get the job done.


    Take Action Now



    Who Has Signed the Letter?

    Here are the lawmakers who signed the Garamendi-Graves Peace Corps Funding Dear Colleague Letter for Fiscal Year 2022. 


    DEADLINE to sign on: Friday, April 23, 2021

    SIGNATURES as of Wednesday, April 14, 6:00 PM: 84

    ADDITIONAL SIGNATURES NEEDED to surpass 2019 record: 98


    Alabama: Sewell

    Alaska: Young

    American Samoa: Radewagan

    Arizona: Gallego, Grijalva

    California: Bass, Bera, Carbajal, Cardenas, Chu, Costa, DeSaulniers, Garamendi (co-author), Mike Levin, Lieu, Lowenthal, Matsui, McNerney, Panetta, Swalwell, Takano, Vargas

    Colorado: Neguse

    Connecticut: Courtney, Hayes, Larson

    Delaware: Blunt Rochester

    District of Columbia: Norton

    Florida: Deutch

    Georgia: Hank Johnson, McBath, David Scott

    Hawai'i: Kahele

    Illinois: Bustos, Davis, Foster, Chuy Garcia, Schakowsky

    Indiana: Carson

    Kansas: Davids

    Louisiana: Graves (co-author)

    Maine: Golden

    Maryland: Sarbanes

    Massachusetts: Keating, Lynch, McGovern, Moulton, Trahan

    Minnesota: Craig, Phillips

    Nevada: Horsford, Titus

    New Jersey: Malinowski, Norcross, Pallone, Pascrell, Payne, Sires, Van Drew

    New York: Delgado, Jones, Katko, Sean Patrick Maloney, Tonko, Torres

    Northern Marianas: Sablan

    Ohio: Beatty

    Oregon: Bonamici, DeFazio

    Pennsylvania: Fitzpatrick

    Puerto Rico: Gonzalez-Colon

    Rhode Island: Langevin

    Texas: Allred, Castro, Vicente Gonzalez, Green, Jackson-Lee

    Vermont: Welch

    Virginia: Beyer, Connolly, Luria

    Washington: DelBene

    Wisconsin: Kind, Moore


    Don’t see your Representative listed yet? Then they need to hear from you! Thanks for rallying others to join you in supporting Peace Corps at this critical time.

    Here’s the Text from the Letter

    Read it below — or download the PDF.


    April 28, 2021


    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:

    Thank you for your commitment to the Peace Corps. Because of your efforts, the agency is poised for even greater impact at a time when the unique role of the Peace Corps is urgently needed. To ensure the Peace Corps has the resources needed to further its mission, we respectfully ask that you appropriate $450 million for fiscal year 2022.

    Public support for Peace Corps remains strong, and its programs continue to renew and expand, but the agency’s potential is severely limited by its essentially flat funding levels in the past six years. The agency’s budget allocation has not increased beyond $410.5 million since fiscal year 2016. Providing $450 million for fiscal year 2022 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 of 10,000 volunteers worldwide.

    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. Retired General Stanley McChrystal has called this gap between applicants and service opportunities “democratic energy wasted and a generation of patriotism needlessly squandered.” Additionally, six years of essentially flat funding has compelled the agency to cut both pre-service and in-service training days to meet budget restrictions, meaning Volunteers get less time for language, technical, and cross-cultural training.

    The Peace Corps works to accomplish its legislative mandate within the context of unique security challenges, and the agency has taken steps to improve the health and safety of its Volunteers as it implements provisions within the Sam Farr Nick Castle Peace Corps Reform Act of 2018 (Public Law 115-256). However, there remain residual health care policy issues within the agency that require increased budgetary support. In particular, we need increased funding and compensation levels for Volunteers temporarily or permanently disabled as a result of their service abroad.

    Similar to members of our military and diplomatic corps, Peace Corps Volunteers take an oath to serve our country, and do so often in remote, challenging environments. Increased funding is necessary to ensure that Peace Corps can fulfill its commitment to the health and safety of American citizens who choose to serve.

    We thank you for your efforts to provide Peace Corps with the resources it needs to fuel the next generation of American leadership, and we respectfully ask that you make this $450 million investment in the agency for fiscal year 2022.




    John Garamendi
    Member of Congress


    Garret Graves
    Member of Congress



    Story updated April 7, 2021 at 2:30 p.m. 

    Jonathan Pearson is Director of Advocacy for National Peace Corps Association. Write him at

  • Jonathan Pearson posted an article
    Can we surpass last year's record number of signatures on this letter? see more

    While action on the annual House Peace Corps funding letter has concluded, opportunities for Senators to sign onto their version of this important letter continues. However, this is the final week for Senators to sign the letter.



    A bipartisan Senate letter asking for robust funding for Peace Corps in fiscal year 2021 is co-authored by Senators Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) and Susan Collins (R-ME).

    Take Action with your Senators**

    • If you wish, you can read the Senate letter here.
    • Ask your Senator(s) to "sign the Feinstein-Collins Peace Corps funding Dear Colleague letter that is now circulating".
    • TAKE ACTION HERE: Write and ask you Senator(s) to sign the letter (or, thank them if they already signed! - see list below).
    • Find the phone number of your Senators if you want to contact them by phone.

    Deadline to sign on: Friday April 10th.

    Signatures as of Tuesday, April 7, 9:00 AM: 27 (see list below)

    Additional Signatures Needed to Reach Last Year's Record: 14

    (** Along with the Peace Corps letter, we encourage you to urge your Senator(s) to also sign a similar letter - being circulated by Senators Todd Young (R-IN) and Richard Durbin (D-IL), requesting strong funding for all international affairs funding, including Peace Corps)


    Senators who signed the Feinstein-Collins Peace Corps Funding Dear Colleague Letter (List of Current Signers Below)

    California: Feinstein (co-author)

    Connecticut: Blumenthal, Murphy

    Colorado: Bennet

    Delaware: Carper, Coons

    Hawaii: Schatz

    Illinois: Duckworth

    Maine: Collins (co-author), King

    Maryland: Cardin, Van Hollen

    Massachusetts: Warren

    Michigan: Peters, Stabenow

    Minnesota: Klobuchar

    Nevada: Rosen

    New Hampshire: Hassan, Shaheen

    North Carolina: Tillis

    Ohio: Brown

    Oregon: Wyden

    Rhode Island: Reed, Whitehouse

    Vermont: Sanders

    Virginia: Kaine

    Washington: Cantwell



    House of Representatives

    The co-chairs of the House of Representatives Peace Corps Caucus, RPCVs John Garamendi (D-CA) and Joe Kennedy (D-MA), and Representative Garrett Graves (R-LA) circulated a letter that their colleagues can sign, asking that Peace Corps funding for the fiscal year that begins this coming October (FY 2021) be increased to $450 million.


    Our thanks to all who reached out to their House Reps on this important action.

    We await a final update on signers of this letter.

    You can read the House letter here.


    Lawmakers who Signed the Garamendi - Graves - Kennedy Peace Corps Funding Dear Colleague Letter (List of Current Signers Below)

    Deadline to sign on: Thursday March 12, 2020 (a final signature count is still pending)

    Signatures as of Thursday, March 12, 4:00 PM: 167

    Additional Signatures Needed to Surpass Last Year's Record: 15


    Alabama: Sewell

    Alaska: Young

    American Samoa: Radewagan

    Arizona: Gallego, Grijalva

    California: Barragan, Bass, Bera, Brownley, Carbajal, Chu, Cisneros, Costa, Susan Davis, DeSaulniers, Eshoo, Garamendi (co-author), Harder, Khanna, LaMalfa, Barbara Lee, Mike Levin, Lieu, Lofgren, Lowenthal, Matsui, McNerney, Napolitano, Panetta, Scott Peters, Porter, Rouda, Roybal-Allard, Sanchez, Schiff, Speier, Swalwell, Takano, Vargas, Waters

    Colorado: DeGette, Neguse, Perlmutter, Tipton

    Connecticut: Courtney, DeLauro, Hayes, Himes, Larson

    Delaware: Blunt Rochester

    District of Columbia: Norton

    Florida: Castor, Deutch, Hastings, Murphy, Shalala

    Georgia: Bishop, Hank Johnson, Lewis, David Scott

    Hawaii: Gabbard

    Illinois: Bustos, Casten, Davis, Foster, Garcia, Kelly, Lipinski, Rush, Schakowsky, Schneider

    Indiana: Carson

    Iowa: Steve King, Loebsack

    Kansas: Davids

    Kentucky: Barr, Yarmuth

    Louisiana: Graves (co-author)

    Maine: Golden, Pingree

    Maryland: Brown, Raskin, Ruppersberger, Sarbanes, Trone

    Massachusetts: Kennedy (co-author), Keating, Lynch, McGovern, Moulton, Pressley, Trahan

    Michigan: Dingell, Kildee, Andy Levin, Slotkin, Tlaib

    Minnesota: Craig, Peterson, Phillips

    Mississippi: Thompson

    Nevada: Horsford, Lee, Titus

    New Hampshire: Kuster, Pappas

    New Jersey: Gottheimer, Kim, Malinowski, Pallone, Pascrell Jr., Payne Jr., Sires, Chris Smith, Van Drew

    New Mexico: Haaland

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

    North Carolina: Adams, Butterfield

    Northern Marianas: Sablan

    Ohio: Beatty

    Oregon: Blumenauer, Bonamici, DeFazio

    Pennsylvania: Boyle, Evans, Fitzpatrick, Wild

    Puerto Rico: Gonzalez-Colon

    Rhode Island: Ciciline

    Tennessee: Cohen

    Texas: Allred, Castro, Doggett, Escobar, Vicente Gonzalez, Green, Jackson-Lee, Veasey, Vela

    Vermont: Welch

    Virginia: Beyer, Connolly, Luria, McEachin, Spanberger, Wexton

    Washington: DelBene, Heck, Jayapal, Larsen, Schrier, Adam Smith

    Wisconsin: Kind, Moore


  • Jonathan Pearson posted an article
    You took action - Your members of Congress responded see more

    Each spring, the Peace Corps community mobilizes to support letters issued in the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives urging robust funding for the Peace Corps.

    Senators Johnny Isakson (R-GA) and Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) circulated a Dear Colleague letter asking for an increase in Peace Corps funding, and the Peace Corps community responded. The Dear Colleague letter, an official correspondence sent by Members of Congress to encourage others to support or oppose a bill, received a record 41 signatures this year. That number surpassed the previous high of 37 signatures, achieved in both 2009 and 2018. 

    Coupled with a record breaking House Dear Colleague letter and its 181 signatures, a combined 222 lawmakers, representing 41 percent of Congress (also a new record), demonstrated strong support for the Peace Corps. With such a high number of signatures, it is more likely that Congress will include an increase in Peace Corps's budget for the 2020 Fiscal Year.

    To read the Senate letter, follow this link.

    If you Senator(s) are listed below, follow this link to call or write them to thank them for signing the bi-partisan Isakson-Feinstein Peace Corps funding letter!


    Senators who signed the Isakson-Feinstein Peace Corps Funding Letter



    Kyrsten Sinema



    Dianne Feinstein (co-author)



    Michael Bennet



    Richard Blumenthal

    Chris Murphy



    Tom Carper

    Chris Coons



    Johnny Isakson (co-author)



    Mazie Hirono

    Brian Schatz



    Tammy Duckworth



    Susan Collins

    Angus King



    Ben Cardin

    Chris Van Hollen



    Ed Markey

    Eliabeth Warren



    Gary Peters

    Debbie Stabenow



    Amy Klobuchar

    Tina Smith



    Jon Tester



    Catherine Cortez Masto

    Jacky Rosen



    Maggie Hassan

    Jeanne Shaheen



    Cory Booker

    Robert Menendez



    Martin Heinrich



    Kirsten Gillibrand



    Thom Tillis



    Sherrod Brown



    Jeff Merkley

    Ron Wyden



    Jack Reed



    Bernie Sanders



    Tim Kaine

    Mark Warner



    Maria Cantwell



    Joe Manchin



    Tammy Baldwin

  • Jonathan Pearson posted an article
    A record number of Representatives ask for an extra $40 million for the agency see more

    A record number of 181 members of the House of Representatives signed a letter calling for a $40 million increase for the Peace Corps!

    The letter, which was drafted by National Peace Corps Association (NPCA), was circulated by the three co-chairs of the House Peace Corps Caucus: RPCV Congressmen John Garamendi (D-CA) and Joseph Kennedy III (D-MA), and fellow Congressman Garret Graves (R-LA).

    172 Democrats (making up 73% of House Democrats) and nine Republicans signed the letter to the House Appropriations Subcommittee for State/Foreign Operations requesting an increase in funding for the fiscal year that begins this coming October from $410.5 million currently to $450 million. Thirty-five new members of Congress also signed the letter.

    NPCA advocates from all fifty states sent more than 2,000 messages to Congress in the past week, urging members to sign the letter.



    Help keep our efforts going by investing in our advocacy program today!



    Take Action - Say Thank You!

    The following members of the House of Representatives signed the Peace Corps funding Dear Colleague letter. If your representative is listed below, contact them and say "thank you for signing the Peace Corps funding Dear Colleague letter."


    • Terri Sewell



    • Don Young



    • Aumua Amata Coleman Radewagen



    • Ruben Gallego
    • Raul Grijalva



    • Karen Bass
    • Ami Bera
    • Julia Brownley
    • Salud Carbajal
    • Tony Cardenas
    • Judy Chu
    • Gilbert Cisneros
    • Jim Costa
    • Susan Davis
    • Mark Desaulnier
    • Anna Eshoo
    • John Garamendi (co-author)
    • Jimmy Gomez
    • Katie Hill
    • Ro Khanna
    • Doug LaMalfa
    • Barbara Lee
    • Mike Levin
    • Ted Lieu
    • Zoe Lofgren
    • Alan Lowenthal
    • Doris Matsui
    • Jerry McNerney
    • Grace Napolitano
    • Jimmy Panetta
    • Scott Peters
    • Katie Porter
    • Harley Rouda
    • Lucille Roybal-Allard
    • Linda Sanchez
    • Adam Schiff
    • Jackie Speier
    • Eric Swalwell
    • Mark Takano
    • Juan Vargas
    • Maxine Waters



    • Diana DeGette
    • Joe Neguse
    • Ed Perlmutter



    • Joe Courtney
    • Rosa DeLauro
    • Jahana Hayes
    • Jim Himes
    • John Larson



    • Lisa Blunt Rochester



    • Eleanor Holmes Norton



    • Kathy Castor
    • Ted Deutch
    • Alcee Hastings
    • Al Lawson
    • Stephanie Murphy
    • Donna Shalala
    • Darren Soto
    • Frederica Wilson



    • Sanford Bishop
    • Hank Johnson
    • John Lewis
    • David Scott



    • Michael F.Q. San Nicolas



    • Tulsi Gabbard



    • Cheri Bustos
    • Sean Casten
    • Danny Davis
    • Bill Foster
    • Jesus Garcia
    • Robin Kelly
    • Daniel Lipinski
    • Bobby Rush
    • Jan Schakowsky
    • Brad Schneider



    • Andre Carson



    • Cynthia Axne
    • Dave Loebsack



    • Andy Barr
    • John Yarmuth



    • Garrett Graves (co-author)
    • Cedric Richmond



    • Jared Golden
    • Chellie Pingree



    • Anthony Brown
    • Elijah Cummings
    • Jamie Raskin
    • Dutch Ruppersberger
    • John Sarbanes
    • David Trone



    • William Keating
    • Joseph Kennedy III (co-author)
    • Stephen Lynch
    • James McGovern
    • Seth Moulton
    • Richard Neal
    • Ayanna Pressley
    • Lori Trahan



    • Debbie Dingell
    • Dan Kildee
    • Andy Levin
    • Elissa Slotkin



    • Angie Craig
    • Jim Hagedorn
    • Collin Peterson



    • Bennie Thompson



    • Emanuel Cleaver



    • Susie Lee
    • Dina Titus



    • Ann McLane Kuster
    • Chris Pappas



    • Josh Gottheimer
    • Andy Kim
    • Tom Malinowski
    • Donald Norcross
    • Bill Pascrell Jr.
    • Frank Pallone Jr. 
    • Donald Payne Jr.
    • Mikie Sherrill
    • Albio Sires
    • Jeff Van Drew



    • Deb Haaland
    • Ben Ray Lujan



    • Yvette Clarke
    • Antonio Delgado
    • Eliot Engel
    • Adriano Espaillat
    • Brian Higgins
    • Hakeem Jeffries
    • John Katko
    • Carolyn Maloney
    • Sean Patrick Maloney
    • Gregory Meeks
    • Joseph Morelle
    • Jerry Nadler
    • Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez
    • Kathleen Rice
    • Thomas Suozzi
    • Paul Tonko
    • Nydia Velazquez



    • Alma Adams
    • G.K. Butterfield



    • Gregorio Kilili Camacho Sablan



    • Joyce Beatty
    • Marcia Fudge



    • Earl Blumenauer
    • Suzanne Bonamici
    • Peter DeFazio



    • Brendan Boyle
    • Mike Doyle
    • Dwight Evans
    • Brian Fitzpatrick
    • Susan Wild



    • Jennifer Gonzalez-Colon



    • David Cicilline
    • Jim Langevin



    • Steve Cohen



    • Colin Allred
    • Joaquin Castro
    • Lloyd Doggett
    • Veronica Escobar
    • Al Green
    • Sheila Jackson Lee
    • Eddie Bernice Johnson
    • Marc Veasey
    • Filemon Vela



    • Peter Welch



    • Don Beyer
    • Gerald Connolly
    • Donald McEachin
    • Bobby Scott
    • Abigail Spanberger
    • Jennifer Wexton



    • Suzan DelBene
    • Denny Heck
    • Pramila Jayapal
    • Rick Larsen
    • Kim Schrier
    • Adam Smith



    • Ron Kind
    • Gwen Moore


  • Meisha Robinson posted an article
    A record-breaking 180 members signed the Peace Corps Funding Dear Colleague Letter. see more

    A record-breaking 180 members of the House of Representatives signed the Peace Corps Funding Dear Colleague Letter, encouraging their colleagues to support Peace Corps funding! This bipartisan letter additionally hosts a record 13 signatures from House Republicans (versus nine House Republican signatures last year).


    Our advocates have played a vital role in the success of the Peace Corps Funding Dear Colleague Letter. Over the last few weeks, many proponents have spent hours organizing and contacting legislators to lobby for support. NPCA is grateful for the dedicated efforts by our community that contributed to the submission of the Peace Corps Funding Dear Colleague Letter.


    The letter, authored by Representatives John Garamendi (D-CA), Garrett Graves (R-LA), and Joe Kennedy (D-MA), was dispersed to Chairman Hal Rogers (R-KY) and Ranking Member Nita Lowey (D-NY) of the House Subcommittee on State, Foreign Operations, and Related Problems requesting a $410 million appropriation for Peace Corps in FY2019.


    With this level of funding the agency should be able to sustain the sending of approximately 3,400 new volunteers a year to serve.  As the letter stated, “Today, approximately 7,000 Volunteers serve in 64 countries to train, elevate, and inspire the next generation of global leaders.” These volunteers are fundamental representatives of our nation around the world. Supporting Peace Corps Volunteers is a cost-effective investment to address international issues. From combating infectious disease outbreaks to helping combat poverty through education, Peace Corps volunteers undertake pressing intersectional issues in innovative ways. Further, these volunteers return to the United States with unique skills that enrich their human capital in a competitive workforce.