Agency slated to receive $410 million for fifth consecutive year see more
After weeks of negotiations, Congress approved and President Trump signed a $1.4 trillion federal spending bill for the current fiscal year (FY 2020) that includes level funding of $410.5 million for Peace Corps.
The House of Representatives approved the spending package on December 17th, while the Senate ratified the package on December 19th. President Trump signed the legislation on December 20th, the day when a continuing resolution to keep the government operating was set to expire.
“While we realize our lawmakers have many difficult decisions before them when putting together our federal budget, it is disappointing they chose to flat fund Peace Corps once again,” said NPCA President Glenn Blumhorst. “Other than a very minimal – one tenth of one percent – increase in spending last year, this will mark the fifth consecutive year that Peace Corps will be forced to manage its operations with the same amount of funding. When inflation is factored in, the agency will need to sustain operations with tens of millions of dollars less in purchasing power. Peace Corps is already experiencing negative impacts, at a time when the needs and importance of international service is as important as ever.”
While Congress only funded Peace Corps at current levels, it rejected the Trump Administration’s recommendation to cut funding by more than $14 million. The president has proposed cutting Peace Corps’ budget each of the past three years.
Did your affiliate group sign this year's letter? see more
With a new federal fiscal year underway and Congress yet to determine if Peace Corps funding will get an increase or continue to remain stagnant, it may seem strange to be turning any attention to the next budget cycle. But within the executive branch, staff at the Office of Management and Budget are hard at work preparing their recommendations for Congress for the 2021 Fiscal Year budget, which the president will present to Congress early next year.
Since 2013, NPCA has responded by seeking the assistance of our affiliate groups to bring the voice of the Peace Corps community to the White House. This is done in the form of an affiliate group sign-on letter urging the president to request strong funding for the Peace Corps.
Affiliate group leaders responded forcefully this year, 124 group representatives signed the letter, representing more than 68,000 of their members. That's a new record, surpassing the 115 group signatures collected in 2013.
This year's letter highlights the announcement made earlier this year to begin a program in Montenegro, and points to the ongoing desire from foreign countries to establish or increase Peace Corps programs. It highlights Peace Corps' significant role in supporting the Trump administration's Women's Global Development and Prosperity Initiative. At the same time, it also expresses disappointment that the president's previous three budget requests have called for Peace Corps funding cuts, a presidential recommendation not seen in over four decades.
Our thanks to the many affiliate groups and leaders who joined together in common cause.
Raise Your Voice to Educate the 110 Members of Congress Who Voted to Eliminate Funding for the Peace Corps in 2020We are mobilizing to engage the 110 House Reps who voted to eliminate Peace Corps funding in FY 2020 see more
Last month, the House of Representatives voted 315 - 110 to reject an amendment introduced by Congressman Mark Walker (R-NC) that would have slashed more than $19 billion from our international assistance programs, including the complete elimination of funding for the Peace Corps in Fiscal Year 2020.
More than 9,000 members of National Peace Corps Association's advocacy network took action to turn back this ill-conceived amendment. However, there is still a lot of work to be done to educate the 110 members of Congress who voted in favor.
How Did Your Representative Vote? Find out here.
IF YOU LIVE IN A DISTRICT HIGHLIGHTED IN RED, WE NEED YOU TO GET INVOLVED
Last week, NPCA president Glenn Blumhorst traveled to Greensboro, North Carolina where he was joined by four RPCV constituents of Congressman Walker to meet with district office staff. The group expressed strong disappointment for the introduction of the amendment, which if passed, would have abruptly ended the service for 170 serving Peace Corps Volunteers from North Carolina, including 14 from the congressman's district. The group shared how their Peace Corps service benefits the district and the state, and how Peace Corps provides a strong return each year on our nation's $410 million annual investment.
That's not all.
- On June 27th, NPCA Advocacy Director Jonathan Pearson and PCV constituent Ed Seiders met with the the Tulsa district office staff of Oklahoma Congressman Kevin Hern to express dismay in Congressman Hern's vote in support of the Walker amendment.
- On July 3rd, Northeast Indiana Advocacy Coordinator Faith Van Gilder attended a town hall meeting with Congressman Jim Banks and questioned him about his vote for the Walker amendment, and his own amendment that would have cut spending for Peace Corps and other international affairs programs for Fiscal Year 2020.
- In West Virginia, state advocacy coordinator Scott King wrote a letter to the editor praising one member and criticizing two others for their votes on the Walker amendment. Similar action was taken in South Dakota, as this letter by RPCVs Tom Katus and Michael Saba was published.
Time to Take Action and Educate Congress on the Critical Importance of the Peace Corps
While the vote on the amendment was rejected, it is important for you to engage and educate lawmakers on the critical importance to protect the Peace Corps.
Contact us at email@example.com and we will work with you to take additional action.
- On June 27th, NPCA Advocacy Director Jonathan Pearson and PCV constituent Ed Seiders met with the the Tulsa district office staff of Oklahoma Congressman Kevin Hern to express dismay in Congressman Hern's vote in support of the Walker amendment.
Ana Victoria Cruz posted an articleThe bill would provide additional federal funding and resources to advance Peace Corps’ mission. see more
Today, Congressman John Garamendi (D-CA) introduced the Peace Corps Reauthorization Act of 2019 (H.R.3456), with bipartisan support. The bill’s original cosponsors include Representatives Joseph P. Kennedy III (D-MA) and Garret Graves (R-LA)—co-chairs of the Congressional Peace Corps Caucus with Congressman Garamendi—and Representatives Albio Sires (D-NJ), Aumua Amata Coleman Radewagen (R-AS), and Donna E. Shalala (D-FL).
The Peace Corps Reauthorization Act of 2019 (H.R.3456) would provide additional federal funding and resources to advance the Peace Corps’ mission around the world and better support current, returning, and former Peace Corps volunteers.
Representatives Garamendi (Ethiopia 1966-1968), Kennedy (Dominican Republic 2004-2006), and Shalala (Iran 1962-1964) are returned Peace Corps Volunteers and Representative Radewagen was a former Peace Corps staffer (Northern Mariana Islands 1967-1968).
“My wife Patti and I owe so much to our service in the Peace Corps. It inspired a lifetime of service that began in Ethiopia during the late 1960s and continued into state government in California, the Clinton Administration, and now the U.S. Congress,” said Congressman John Garamendi (D-CA). “Now more than ever, Congress must support the Peace Corps’ mission and realize President Kennedy’s vision of generations of young Americans ready to serve their nation and make the world a better place. Our reauthorization bill does exactly that, and I thank my fellow Peace Corps Caucus co-chairs and Congressional colleagues for their support as original cosponsors.”
“At a time of unrest and uncertainty the world over, the Peace Corps embodies the very best of what America has to offer: service to others for the common cause of peace, progress, and democratic ideals. The Peace Corps Authorization Act will strengthen our country’s commitment to that mission and ensure future generations are prepared to defend this nation’s most sacred values,” said Congressman Joe Kennedy III (D-MA).
“The Peace Corps has been exporting American values for almost six decades, promoting her spirit and sowing seeds of freedom in nations across the world through its work-based service program,” said Congressman Garret Graves, Co-chair of the Congressional Peace Corps Caucus. “Peace Corps volunteers – like the program itself – give more than they take and continue to deliver to taxpayers a compounded return on investment,” said Congressman Garret Graves (R-LA).
“Since its inception, the Peace Corps has used America's greatest strength - its people - to build civil society and mutual respect between our country and the people of the world. This was true when I served as a Peace Corps Volunteer, and it is true today. We must continue to fully fund the Peace Corps in order to preserve this vital instrument of American values and democracy,” said Rep. Donna Shalala (D-FL).
“My work with the Peace Corps was a special time in my life, and good preparation for keeping the right priorities through the years,” said Rep. Aumua Amata Coleman Radewagen (R-AS). “The Peace Corps is a proven program that has helped people now for so long. This is an important effort to reauthorize and strengthen the Peace Corps, while encouraging a culture of serving others and volunteering.”
“As the Peace Corps celebrates its 58th anniversary this year, this comprehensive reauthorization bill will expand support for former and current Peace Corps volunteers and enable the Peace Corps to continue its important contribution to our global diplomacy efforts,” said Congressman Albio Sires (D-NJ). “I am glad that my bill, the Respect for Peace Corps Volunteers Act, is included in this reauthorization, allowing those who have been a part of the Peace Corps to proudly display the insignia.”
“National Peace Corps Association is delighted to endorse the Peace Corps Reauthorization Act, sponsored by Congressman John Garamendi. In addition to calling for robust funding and a number of other important provisions, this legislation makes fiscally prudent strides in improving the Peace Corps’ commitment to the wellbeing of Volunteers disabled during their national service abroad,” said Glenn Blumhorst, President and CEO of the National Peace Corps Association. “We thank Congressmen Garamendi for his continued commitment to the Peace Corps mission by drafting this Reauthorization which would both improve the benefits of our American Volunteers and enhance the agency’s ability to complete its legislative mandate.”
The Peace Corps Reauthorization Act of 2019 (H.R.3456) would:
- Authorize $450 million in yearly funding for the Peace Corps, an increase over the flat $410 million funding level provided by Congress in recent years.
- Direct the Peace Corps to establish new volunteer opportunities that promote Internet technology-adoption in developing countries and engage tech-savvy American volunteers.
- Increase monthly allowances for Peace Corps volunteers and leaders to $417 per month of service completed, to reflect increases in cost of living over the past several decades and provide $10,000 for a full 2-year term of service. The current monthly allowance is $350 per month, as ordered administratively by the Peace Corps Director.
- Include the Respect for Peace Corps Volunteers Act (H.R.1411) sponsored by Rep. Albio Sires (D-NJ) since 2013.
- Extend Peace Corps volunteers’ 12-month hiring preference for most federal job openings during any federal hiring freeze, government shutdown, or while a volunteer receives federal worker’s compensation benefits for any injury during their Peace Corps service.
- Require the Peace Corps and U.S. State Department’s Bureau of Diplomatic Security to routinely update their existing Memorandum of Agreement for Peace Corps volunteer security support and protection, in foreign countries.
- Increase the federal workers’ compensation rate for all Peace Corps volunteers injured or disabled during their service from a GS-7 to a GS-11 level, the same rate provided for Peace Corps volunteers with dependent children under current law.
The bipartisan bill builds upon the Sam Farr and Nick Castle Peace Corps Reform Act of 2018 (Public Law 115-256). Congress last reauthorized the Peace Corps in 1999 (Public Law 106-30), which expired at the end of fiscal year 2003. The Peace Corps Reauthorization Act of 2019 (H.R.3456) currently awaits action by the House Committee on Foreign Affairs.
Peace Corps was one of a number of international affairs programs on the chopping block see more
Democrats and Republicans in the House of Representatives came together Tuesday evening to soundly reject a proposal to re-allocate foreign assistance funding in Fiscal Year 2020, including the elimination of all House funds slated for the Peace Corps.
An amendment to the State/Foreign Operations funding package to cut just over $19 billion in foreign assistance programs was defeated by a vote of 315 to 110. 81 House Republicans joined 234 House Democrats to defeat the amendment.
In bringing forth the amendment last week, Congressman Mark Walker (R-NC) argued that funds needed to be re-allocated, to compensate for an earlier House vote to provide $19 billion to fund disaster relief assistance around the country. Included in his amendment was the complete elimination of $425 million proposed for the Peace Corps for the fiscal year that begins in October.
"We must prioritize our domestic needs first," Walker said during debate on his amendment last Thursday.
"How are these cuts in our national interest?", countered House Appropriations Chairwoman Nita Lowey (D-NY). Lowey referenced Peace Corps Volunteers in her remarks, saying "7,200 Peace Corps Volunteers are serving as excellent representatives of the United States."
Peace Corps Community Response
Over the last several days, members and friends of the Peace Corps community sent at least 9,000 communications to their House representatives. Every House member heard from at least one constituent on this issue, and nearly 70 percent of House members received ten or more communications - in some cases, many, many more!
"We applaud the strong, bipartisan rejection of this ill-conceived amendment," said National Peace Corps Association President Glenn Blumhorst. "I thank all NPCA members and friends of the Peace Corps community who spoke with one voice about the value of Peace Corps - not just for people around the world, but also for communities here at home when returning volunteers continue their commitment to serving others."
How Did Your Representative Vote?
Follow this link to see if your House Rep was among the 315 members who voted to defeat the Walker amendment.
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.
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
Dianne Feinstein (co-author)
Johnny Isakson (co-author)
Chris Van Hollen
Catherine Cortez Masto
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).
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
Share the link with five friends and ask them to take action.
Contact us if you want to find out more on how you can help.
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
- 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
DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA
- 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
NORTHERN MARIANAS ISLANDS
- 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
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.
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
Connecticut: Blumenthal, Murphy
Delaware: Carper, Coons
Georgia: Isakson (co-author)
Hawaii: Hirono, Schatz
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
Oregon: Merkley, Wyden
Rhode Island: Reed, Whitehouse
West Virginia: Manchin
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!
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.”
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.
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):
- 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
- 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