For Immediate Release
February 9, 2016
Contact: Ranit Schmelzer
Voices for National Service President AnnMaura Connolly’s Statement on President Obama’s 2017 Budget
Washington, DC – Voices for National Service, a diverse coalition of national service programs, state service commissions and individual champions, who advocate to ensure Americans of all ages have the opportunity to serve and volunteer in their community, today issued a statement upon release of President Obama’s 2017 Budget.
The Fiscal Year (FY) 2017 budget provides $1.1 billion for the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), the federal agency that administers national service programs including AmeriCorps and Senior Corps – or essentially level funding from the FY 2016 enacted budget.
Following is a statement by AnnMaura Connolly, President of Voices for National Service.
“In his final year in office, President Obama had the opportunity to prioritize support for the Corporation for National and Community Service and the tens of thousands of dedicated Americans who step forward every day to deliver results for their communities. It’s unfortunate and disappointing that this budget fails to do that. By flat-funding CNCS, the budget does not provide the funds necessary to scale the proven programs positioned to meet increased demand from local communities – and falls far short of fulfilling the promise of the Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act.”
“That said, we’re heartened by the strong bipartisan support in Congress that resulted in increased funding in the final fiscal year 2016 budget, including the largest expansion of AmeriCorps to date. We’re particularly grateful to Senators Blunt and Murray and Representatives Cole and DeLauro for their extraordinary leadership, and to the bipartisan group of more than 90 legislators from the House and Senate who recently called on President Obama to increase federal funding for CNCS. We plan to work with them through the Congressional budget process to ensure this becomes a reality.”
“We’ve always known that national service is something Americans can all agree on. Importantly, a recent poll found that voters across the political spectrum overwhelmingly supportinvesting their tax dollars in national service and want to either maintain or increase spending for these programs.”
“We are hearing these themes echoed on the Presidential campaign trail, as candidates from both political parties publicly recognize that national service provides a tremendous return on investment, while preparing young people for the workforce, helping alleviate the burden of college debt, and building strong neighborhoods and communities.”
“As we have before, the national service community will make their voices heard and will fight for an increased investment to scale this invaluable resource.”
Voices for National Service is a diverse coalition of national service programs, state service commissions and individual champions, who advocate to ensure Americans of all ages 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 position national service as a viable policy solution to tackle unmet needs, expand opportunity, and leverage human capital.