November 10, 2020 (Washington, DC) – On Tuesday, the Senate Appropriations Committee released their FY21 spending bills, including the Labor-HHS Appropriations Bill which funds the AmeriCorps Agency (formerly the Corporation for National and Community Service). The Senate bill, like its House counterpart, includes an increase of $50 million for the Agency over FY20 funding.
Following is a statement by AnnMaura Connolly, President of Voices for National Service.
“We are grateful for the bipartisan support in both the House and Senate for the increased funding and for recognizing the critically needed support that national service brings to communities across the country, especially during this extraordinary time.
“AmeriCorps and AmeriCorps Seniors are addressing mounting needs caused by the pandemic in a cost-effective way, from providing virtual teaching, tutoring and mentoring to students, to conducting wellness checks, to delivering meals. It’s also giving Americans purpose-driven work that is serving the community and helping to secure the economy.
“As communities continue to count on national service as a vital part of the Covid-19 response and recovery efforts, we know that the increased FY 21 funding will not be nearly sufficient to meet the outsized and growing needs. We will continue to work with our legislative champions as another stimulus package works its way through the process to ensure that AmeriCorps and AmeriCorps Seniors are expanded to enable more citizens to play a pivotal role in helping the nation recover. The bipartisan CORPS Act is an essential part of the solution and should be included in the next COVID-19 relief package.”
The Cultivating Opportunity and Response to the Pandemic through Service Act (CORPS Act) would expand AmeriCorps, increase the living allowance and double the education award, making college more affordable for those who serve. The bipartisan bill – with 18 Senate cosponsors equally divided by party – proposes to expand AmeriCorps to 150,000 positions in year one, 200,000 in year two, and 250,000 in year three, giving more Americans the opportunity to earn a living stipend while doing purpose driven work at a time when unemployment numbers are on the rise.
Voices for National Service is a diverse coalition of national service programs, state service commissions and individual champions, who work to ensure Americans of all ages and backgrounds have the opportunity to serve and volunteer in their community. Founded in 2003, Voices for National Service has built strong bipartisan support among our nation’s leaders and helped to elevate national service as a powerful strategy for tackling unmet needs, preparing young people for work, uniting our country and developing civic character.