Peace Corps Funding

  • Jonathan Pearson posted an article
    Proposal would add $15 million to Peace Corps budget see more

    The House of Representatives Subcommittee which has responsibility for funding our nation’s international affairs programs has recommended a 3.5 percent increase in funding for the Peace Corps for the Fiscal Year that begins next October (FY 2020).

    (UPDATE: On Thursday, May 16th, the full House Appropriations Committee approved a spending package that includes the recommended $425 million for Peace Corps. The international affairs funding package will next head to the House floor for a vote.)

    At a meeting last Friday, the Appropriations Subcommittee for State/Foreign Operations approved a spending plan that includes $425 million for the Peace Corps, up from the current funding level of $410.5 million. This was part of a $56.4 billion spending package for international affairs programs. That’s a proposed four percent ($2.2 billion) increase in overall spending.

    The proposed increase in Peace Corps funding is in contrast to the Trump Administration's budget, which called for a $14 million cut in funding. At the same time, it falls short of the $450 million requested by 181 House members in a letter to the subcommittee.

    The Senate's version of the State/Foreign Operations bill has not advanced as far as the House has at this time. Meanwhile, other challenges to address the overall budget and appropriations process have yet to be addressed, and could significantly impact final funding levels and the possibility of another government shutdown in the fall.

  • 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

     

    ARIZONA

    Kyrsten Sinema

     

    CALIFORNIA

    Dianne Feinstein (co-author)

     

    COLORADO

    Michael Bennet

     

    CONNECTICUT

    Richard Blumenthal

    Chris Murphy

     

    DELAWARE

    Tom Carper

    Chris Coons

     

    GEORGIA

    Johnny Isakson (co-author)

     

    HAWAII

    Mazie Hirono

    Brian Schatz

     

    ILLINOIS

    Tammy Duckworth

     

    MAINE

    Susan Collins

    Angus King

     

    MARYLAND

    Ben Cardin

    Chris Van Hollen

     

    MASSACHUSETTS

    Ed Markey

    Eliabeth Warren

     

    MICHIGAN

    Gary Peters

    Debbie Stabenow

     

    MINNESOTA

    Amy Klobuchar

    Tina Smith

     

    MONTANA

    Jon Tester

     

    NEVADA 

    Catherine Cortez Masto

    Jacky Rosen

     

    NEW HAMPSHIRE

    Maggie Hassan

    Jeanne Shaheen

     

    NEW JERSEY

    Cory Booker

    Robert Menendez

     

    NEW MEXICO

    Martin Heinrich

     

    NEW YORK

    Kirsten Gillibrand

     

    NORTH CAROLINA

    Thom Tillis

     

    OHIO

    Sherrod Brown

     

    OREGON

    Jeff Merkley

    Ron Wyden

     

    RHODE ISLAND

    Jack Reed

     

    VERMONT

    Bernie Sanders

     

    VIRGINIA

    Tim Kaine

    Mark Warner

     

    WASHINGTON

    Maria Cantwell

     

    WEST VIRGINIA

    Joe Manchin

     

    WISCONSIN

    Tammy Baldwin

  • Jonathan Pearson posted an article
    A Dear Colleague letter critical to the fate of Peace Corps funding is circulating in Congress see more

    We will need strong support from the House of Representatives in order to see a Peace Corps funding increase in the fiscal year that begins next October (FY 2020).

    Here's why.

    Representatives John Garamendi (D-CA), Joe Kennedy (D-MA), and Garret Graves (R-LA) are circulating their annual Peace Corps funding letter. This letter to the House Appropriations Subcommittee on State/Foreign Operations asks that Peace Corps funding for FY 2020 be increased by nearly ten percent, to $450 million. This increase would follow four consecutive years of flat funding for the Peace Corps.

    This letter carries great weight because of the high number of signatures it normally receives. Those signatures don’t come easy, and don’t happen without your involvement.

    As this year's letter winds down, we have surpassed last year's record of 180 signatures. Congratulations!

     

    TAKE ACTION - 3 SIMPLE STEPS

     

     

     

     

    The following members of the House of Representatives have signed the Peace Corps funding Dear Colleague letter. Contact them and say thank you!

     

    (Last updated Thursday, March 28th, 2:00 PM - Please bookmark this page and return for regular updates!)

     

    Current Number of Signatures: 181
     

    ALABAMA

    • Terri Sewell

     

    ALASKA

    • Don Young

     

    AMERICAN SAMOA

    • Aumua Amata Coleman Radewagen

     

    ARIZONA

    • Ruben Gallego
    • Raul Grijalva

     

    CALIFORNIA

    • 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

     

    COLORADO

    • Diana DeGette
    • Joe Neguse
    • Ed Perlmutter

     

    CONNECTICUT

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

     

    DELAWARE

    • Lisa Blunt Rochester

     

    DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA

    • Eleanor Holmes Norton

     

    FLORIDA

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

     

    GEORGIA

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

     

    GUAM

    • Michael F.Q. San Nicolas

     

    HAWAII

    • Tulsi Gabbard

     

    ILLINOIS

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

     

    INDIANA

    • Andre Carson

     

    IOWA

    • Cynthia Axne
    • Dave Loebsack

     

    KENTUCKY

    • Andy Barr
    • John Yarmuth

     

    LOUISIANA

    • Garrett Graves (co-author)
    • Cedric Richmond

     

    MAINE

    • Jared Golden
    • Chellie Pingree

     

    MARYLAND

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

     

    MASSACHUSETTS

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

     

    MICHIGAN

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

     

    MINNESOTA

    • Angie Craig
    • Jim Hagedorn
    • Collin Peterson

     

    MISSISSIPPI

    • Bennie Thompson

     

    MISSOURI

    • Emanuel Cleaver

     

    NEVADA

    • Susie Lee
    • Dina Titus

     

    NEW HAMPSHIRE

    • Ann McLane Kuster
    • Chris Pappas

     

    NEW JERSEY

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

     

    NEW MEXICO

    • Deb Haaland
    • Ben Ray Lujan

     

    NEW YORK

    • 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

     

    NORTH CAROLINA

    • Alma Adams
    • G.K. Butterfield

     

    NORTHERN MARIANAS ISLANDS

    • Gregorio Kilili Camacho Sablan

     

    OHIO

    • Joyce Beatty
    • Marcia Fudge

     

    OREGON

    • Earl Blumenauer
    • Suzanne Bonamici
    • Peter DeFazio

     

    PENNSYLVANIA

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

     

    PUERTO RICO

    • Jennifer Gonzalez-Colon

     

    RHODE ISLAND

    • David Cicilline
    • Jim Langevin

     

    TENNESSEE

    • Steve Cohen

     

    TEXAS

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

     

    VERMONT

    • Peter Welch

     

    VIRGINIA

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

     

    WASHINGTON

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

     

    WISCONSIN

    • Ron Kind
    • Gwen Moore

     

  • Jonathan Pearson posted an article
    Now it's your turn - Send your Peace Corps funding letter to the president! see more

    When the Peace Corps community comes together we have a collective, powerful voice! That is certainly the case with our amazing, energetic affiliate groups.

    As the Trump administration prepares the fiscal year 2020 budget it will present to Congress next February, the National Peace Corps Association (NPCA) sent this letter signed by representatives of 109 affiliate groups requesting a “modest but meaningful funding increase” for the agency.

    This annual letter serves as our initial volley in the federal appropriations process and it could not happen without people like Gregory Jones, President of the Friends of Nigeria (FON), who has regularly signed the letter on behalf of the 1,700 FON members. "It is a privilege to endorse this appeal for funding for the Peace Corps organized by the NPCA. FON represents a group of volunteers who served in a country that has not had Peace Corps volunteers since 1972, so for most of us the experience was 50 or more years ago.  It still ranks as a highlight in our lives, and we are eager to urge the President and Congress to make that experience available to a full cadre of current volunteers."

    That sentiment was echoed by Gloria Levin, President of Amigos de Bolivia y Peru. "We urge the support for all three of Peace Corps' founding three goals, viewing all three as interactive and critical to assure that Peace Corps' magic will endure. Returned Peace Corps Volunteers' organizations provide us the platform for our collective voices to be be heard by decision makers regarding the size of Peace Corps' budget and allocations among priorities." 

    Funding for the Peace Corps has been steady – from a dollar value – at $410 million for the past four years. But citing the Bureau of Labor Statistics, that letter contends when adjusted for inflation, Peace Corps should be at more than $430 million today. “Because of this decline in purchasing power, the agency faces a difficult choice of reducing the number of volunteer opportunities or reducing important, staffing, training or services that support volunteers in the field.”

    "No matter who may be in office, it is of extreme importance to remind Congress just how far US tax dollars go by funding the Peace Corps", said Jessica Szalawiga, President of the Kansas City Area Peace Corps Association. "We understand the impact that a collective call to action can have. The Peace Corps experience leads to continued service to our country through serving our individual communities."

     

    Your Turn – Write to the President!

    Our affiliate groups have taken action. Now it is your turn! During the past two years, President Trump has proposed consecutive funding cuts to the Peace Corps – something no president has done in nearly 35 years, since the days of President Reagan, when his nominee to direct the Peace Corps – Loret Miller Ruppe – is widely credited with saving the Peace Corps!

    Follow this link to send your message to the president.

    Then, follow this link to help us ensure a strong and vibrant Peace Corps moving forward.

     

  • Jonathan Pearson posted an article
    216 members of Congress signed Peace Corps funding letters in 2018. A new record high. see more

    Led by Senators Johnny Isakson (R-GA) and Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), the annual Peace Corps funding Dear Colleague letter secured the signatures of 36 Senators!

    When coupled with the 180 signatures on a similar letter in the House of Representatives, the combined 216 members of Congress who signed Peace Corps funding letters in 2018 represents a new record high!

    As noted in the Senate letter, which requests robust funding for the Peace Corps in the upcoming 2019 fiscal year, "The Peace Corps' return on investment is profound. Host country nationals served by a volunteer are better equipped to meet challenges in the long run, helping to achieve healthier, more stable communities and prevent conflict. The Peace Corps is often one of the most transformative experiences in a volunteer's life, and Returned Peace Corps Volunteers continue their call to service by becoming leaders in their communities."  

    Read the final Senate letter here!

    Our thanks to the thousands of Peace Corps supporters, who reached out to their members of Congress in support of these critical funding letters. We would not be successful without your support!

     

    Say Thank You!

    Thirty-six Senators (below) signed the Peace Corps funding letter and should be thanked!

    California: Feinstein (co-author), Harris

    Colorado: Bennet

    Connecticut: Blumenthal, Murphy

    Delaware: Carper, Coons

    Florida: Nelson

    Georgia: Isakson (co-author)

    Hawaii: Hirono, Schatz

    Illinois: Duckworth

    Maine: Collins, King

    Maryland: Cardin, Van Hollen

    Massachusetts: Markey, Warren

    Michigan: Peters, Stabenow

    Minnesota: Klobuchar, Smith

    New Hampshire: Hassan, Shaheen

    New Jersey: Menendez

    New Mexico: Heinrich

    Ohio: Brown

    Oregon: Merkley, Wyden

    Rhode Island: Reed, Whitehouse

    Vermont: Sanders

    Virginia: Kaine

    Washington: Cantwell

    West Virginia: Manchin

    Wisconsin: Baldwin

     

  • Jonathan Pearson posted an article
    It's not just Capitol Hill - We're organizing 75 solidarity events around the country! see more

    In Pittsburgh, Katie Haas Conrad (Sierra Leone 2010-12) says "We have to work to continue to educate our legislators of the importance of the (Peace Corps) or we will not be able to send professionals to interested countries." That's why for the second year in a row, Katie is spearheading a letter writing event with the Pittsburgh Area Peace Corps Association in March as part of NPCA's National Days of Action.

    Nearly 1,000 miles due west in Nebraska, Andrea Kruse (Bulgaria 2008-10) is making plans to organize a district meeting with the Lincoln office of Senator Ben Sasse. "Years ago I was asked if I wanted to join a district meeting with some fellow Minnesota RPCVs and said yes...From that meeting, I was told by a staffer to keep coming even if the congresswoman was a Peace Corps champion, because power in numbers and the personal stories have the impact."

    Not everyone can come to Capitol Hill to be an advocates on key Peace Corps issues. BUT, everyone can take a moment in March to participate in National Days of Action solidarity events being planned around the country.

    Along with Pittsburgh and Lincoln, we are hearing of plans starting to emerge all around! Buffalo, New York and Portland, Maine, northern New Mexico and Hawaii!

    Ready to commit to organizing an event in your area? Fill out the form linked below so we can start working with you and promoting your efforts! https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSc7h6nyJ73bvrfG9oh6HMCpowXyPC7kX1zgaBUosB2yBb-_BQ/viewform

    Look for updates in the near future and help us secure at least one Days of Action event in every state!

  • Jonathan Pearson posted an article
    Peace Corps funding is currently on track for level funding in the next fiscal year. see more

    At the beginning this week, NPCA President Glenn Blumhorst (far right, with Missouri delegation meeting Senator Roy Blunt) led a Capitol Hill delegation to support stable funding for our nation’s international affairs programs during a “State Leaders Summit” organized by the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition.

     

    By week’s end, Congress moved to make sure that happen – with Peace Corps funding also in the mix for stable funding.

     

    In a concerted effort to complete its work before the October 1st start of the 2019 fiscal year (FY 2019), the Senate and House Appropriations Committees both gave approval to respective appropriations bills that have strong similarities.

     

    In approving its State/Foreign Operations proposal, the House Appropriations Committee is recommending level funding of $54 billion for FY 2019. The proposal of the Senate Appropriations Committee was slightly larger, proposing a one percent increase to $54.4 billion. These recommendations are in sharp contrast to the Trump administration’s proposal to cut this funding by nearly thirty percent.

     

    The pathway for the Peace Corps is similar. While the Trump administration proposed a $14 million cut to the agency for FY 2019, the Senate Appropriations Committee is recommending level funding of $410 million. The House Appropriations Committee approved a recommendation with a very slight increase in funding – to $410.5 million.

     

    As the committee recommendations head next to the full Senate and House, NPCA President Blumhorst congratulated all Peace Corps community members who took action over the past months.

     

    “For every member of our community who over the past four months has made a phone call, sent an email, wrote a post card, participated in a district office meeting or came to Washington, we thank you. It is vitally important that our elected representatives hear from constituents who believe in the power of the Peace Corps and the importance of our diplomatic, international development and humanitarian assistance programs. Your individual actions add up, and they protect Peace Corps and other programs so many in our community care about. This achievement belongs to you.”

     

    Follow these links to read the summaries of the State/Foreign Operations bills approved by the Senate and House Appropriations Committees.

     

  • Jonathan Pearson posted an article
    A powerful message kicks off NPCA advocacy on the FY 2019 federal budget see more

    Our thanks to the 106 affiliate groups of the National Peace Corps Association who signed a letter to President Trump urging him to increase funding for the Peace Corps as his administration prepares his fiscal year 2019 budget.

    The letter, in part, highlights the outstanding contributions affiliate groups continue to make in their communities and around the world. "NPCA affiliate groups are not-for-profit organizations comprised of members of the Peace Corps community - primarily Returned Peace Corps Volunteers (RPCVs). Over five decades, we have evolved from our efforts to execute the Peace Corps' Third Goal of educating Americans about our countries of service to becoming indispensable civic enterprises and recognized leaders in volunteerism, charity and public - and private - sector problem solving."

    "Our annual letter to the president is exemplary of NPCA's vision of a united and vibrant Peace Corps community," said NPCA President Glenn Blumhorst. "In these challenging fiscal times, having more than 100 of our affiliate groups sign a letter calling for increased funding provides an impressive start to our advocacy efforts for fiscal year 2019."

    Click here to read the FY 2019 Peace Corps funding letter to the president.

    As advocacy for fiscal year 2019 is underway, NPCA continues to monitor and advocate with congressional leaders on the final Peace Corps appropriation for fiscal year 2018. Look for further updates as we seek to reduce or eliminate the President's proposed $12 million cut in Peace Corps funding for the fiscal year that began October 1st.

     

     

  • Jonathan Pearson posted an article
    A deadline approaches as NPCA affiliate groups are signing onto an important letter to the President see more

    Sunday marked the official beginning of the 2018 federal fiscal year. 

    While Congress is still negotiating final spending levels for the FY 2018 budget (including deciding whether or not to provide level funding for the Peace Corps), the Trump administration is now beginning to plan how much funding it will recommend for Peace Corps in Fiscal Year 2019.

    Because of this, the National Peace Corps Association (NPCA) is preparing its annual affiliate group sign-on letter to the president, which says in part, "we write to you to speak to the immense domestic dividend of the Peace Corps and to urge your investment in America’s communities by increasing the Peace Corps’ fiscal year 2019 budget."

     

    If you belong to an NPCA affiliate group, check out the list below to see if your group is among those currently signed onto the letter. If not, contact your group leaders and remind them that they have until Friday, Oct 13th, to make sure your group is included on this important letter.

     

    NPCA Affiliate Groups Currently Signed onto Peace Corps Funding Letter (67):

    Geographic Groups

    • RPCVs of Phoenix (AZ)
    • Northern California Peace Corps Association (CA)
    • Sacramento Valley RPCVs (CA)
    • San Diego Peace Corps Association (CA)
    • Ventura County Peace Corps Association (CA)
    • Connecticut RPCVs (CT)
    • RPCVs of Washington DC (DC)
    • RPCVs of Delaware (DE)
    • First Coast RPCVs (FL)
    • RPCVs of North Florida (FL)
    • Idaho RPCVs (ID)
    • Chicago Area Peace Corps Association (IL)
    • Iowa Peace Corps Association (IA)
    • Indy Peace Corps Community (IN)
    • Kansas RPCVs (KS)
    • Kentucky RPCVs (KY)
    • Maine Peace Corps Association (ME)
    • RPCVs of Northern Michigan (MI)
    • Peace Corps Association of Southwest Michigan (MI)
    • Kansas City Area Peace Corps Association (MO/KS)
    • St. Louis Peace Corps Association (MO)
    • Nebraska Area RPCVs (NE)
    • RPCVs of New Jersey (NJ)
    • Northeast New York RPCVs (NY)
    • Returned Volunteers of Buffalo (NY)
    • RPCVs of New York City (NY)
    • Rochester RPCVs (NY)
    • Athens Area Association of RPCVs (OH)
    • Northern Ohio RPCVs (OH)
    • Southwest Ohio RPCVs (OH)
    • Tennessee RPCVs (TN)
    • Northern Virginia RPCVs (VA)
    • Seattle Area Peace Corps Association (WA)
    • West Virginia RPCVs (WV)
    • Milwaukee Peace Corps Association (WI)
    • RPCVs of Wisconsin - Madison (WI)

    Country of Service Groups

    • Friends of Afghanistan
    • RPCV Friends of Azerbaijan
    • Full Basket Belize
    • Amigos de Bolivia y Peru
    • Friends of Costa Rica
    • Friends of Fiji
    • Friends of The Gambia
    • Friends of Ghana
    • Friends of India
    • Friends of Kenya
    • Friends of Lesotho
    • Friends of Malaysia
    • Friends of Micronesia
    • Friends of Morocco
    • Friends of Mozambique
    • Friends of Nepal
    • Friends of Niger
    • Friends of Nigeria
    • Friends of Pakistan USA
    • Friends of Sierra Leone
    • Friends of Thailand
    • Friends of Togo
    • Friends of Turkmenistan
    • Megobari Foundation

    Other Groups

    • Alliance for Intercultural Understanding
    • LGBT RPCVs
    • Museum of the Peace Corps Experience
    • Peace Corps House
    • RPCVs for Environmental Action
    • Shriver Peaceworker Fellows Program
    • Women of Peace Corps Legacy