House of Representatives Continues on Path of Cutting AmeriCorps to Lowest Level in 30 Years

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Ranit Schmelzer, ranit@schmelzerstrategies.com

 

House of Representatives Continues on Path of Cutting AmeriCorps
to Lowest Level in 30 Years
Voices for National Service thanks Reps. Matsui and Kilmer for their efforts to save AmeriCorps

Washington, DC (November 15, 2023) – Today, the House of Representatives will continue consideration of H.R. 5894, the FY24 Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act. Voices for National Service is disappointed that the floor debate will exclude an amendment offered by Representatives Doris Matsui (D-CA) and Derek Kilmer (D-WA) to restore funding for the Corporation for National and Community Service (the federal agency that runs AmeriCorps).

“In this time of increased need throughout our country, it is shortsighted and foolhardy that the House of Representatives has proposed cutting AmeriCorps to its lowest level in nearly 30 years,” said AnnMaura Connolly, President of Voices for National Service. “We’re grateful to Representatives Matsui and Kilmer for elevating the importance of AmeriCorps. It’s imperative that the House revisits the funding level for AmeriCorps so that we protect, and ultimately expand, the federal investment in this essential program.”

“Across our nation, AmeriCorps members have stepped up to serve their communities – bridging divides and symbolizing a helping hand in times of need. That’s why as co-chair of the National Service Congressional Caucus I have led the charge to fully fund our national service programs, like AmeriCorps,” said Congresswoman Doris Matsui. “The cuts in this partisan bill are outrageous and harmful. They would eliminate more than 45,000 AmeriCorps member positions. From assisting with disaster recovery, to helping build affordable housing and uplifting students in underserved areas – national service programs are moving the needle on some of the most pressing challenges our nation faces. We must ensure our dedicated AmeriCorps members get the support they deserve.”

“AmeriCorps significantly impacts communities nationwide, particularly in my region where more than 850 members and volunteers serve at 122 sites,” said Rep. Derek Kilmer. “Their contributions, from conservation to education and ending hunger, yield substantial returns – more than $17 for every federal dollar spent. That’s why the proposed funding cuts in this bill – which would halve AmeriCorps’ budget compared to the previous year – are alarming. During a critical need for services addressing poverty, disaster relief, and more, these cuts would severely affect both AmeriCorps personnel and the folks they serve in communities across America.”

On the 30th anniversary of AmeriCorps, the House fiscal year 2024 Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education (LHHS) Bill reduces AmeriCorps funding by 50 percent, to $660.9 million, the lowest level of funding in almost 30 years. The House spending bill eliminates all funding for the AmeriCorps Education Awards, VISTA, the National Civilian Community Corps (NCCC), the Volunteer Generation Fund, State Commission Grants, and includes deep cuts to AmeriCorps State and National, Senior Companions and the Foster Grandparents programs. If enacted, the move could devastate the work of thousands of community and faith-based organizations like the American Red Cross, Boys and Girls Clubs, City Year, and Habitat for Humanity, which receive AmeriCorps funds to engage Americans in addressing community-identified challenges. Unlike most federal grant programs, every AmeriCorps dollar is matched by local funds, and this public-private partnership yields more than $17 in benefits to our country for every $1 invested by Congress.

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Voices for National Service, which turns 20 this year, advocates for programs that respond to the country’s most immediate and pressing challenges and elevates AmeriCorps as a powerful strategy for tackling unmet needs. Founded in 2003, Voices for National Service has built strong bipartisan support among our national’s leaders for AmeriCorps, the public-private partnership that yields more than $17 in benefits to our country for every $1 invested by Congress and enables the 200,000 members of AmeriCorps and AmeriCorps Seniors to support local nonprofit, faith-based and community organizations on the front lines of our communities – an effort that unites our country and deepens civic character.

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