Voices for National Service Urges Support for National Service Programs in Face of House Subcommittee’s Markup

For Immediate Release
June 18, 2015

Voices for National Service Urges Support for Low-Cost, High-Yield National Service Programs in Face of House Subcommittee’s Markup of FY16 Labor-HHS Appropriations Bill
Proposed National Service Cuts Jeopardize Services for Students, Veterans, Military Families and Communities Recovering from Natural Disasters

WASHINGTON – In response to today’s mark-up and approval of a FY16 funding bill by the U.S. House of Representatives Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies, Voices for National Service President AnnMaura Connolly issued the following statement:

“Voices for National Service is disappointed that the House Labor-HHS Appropriations Subcommittee would fail to protect funding for national service.  By proposing deep cuts to the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) for FY16, the bill the Subcommittee approved today would diminish CNCS’s federal budget by more than a third — reducing the federal investment from $1.05 billion to $687.8 million for FY16 — significantly jeopardizing the scope and impact of cost-effective national service programs that receive funding through a rigorous and competitive grant-making process.

While the current budgetary climate requires our nation’s leaders to make difficult decisions, the proposed CNCS cuts are disproportional and would cripple CNCS’s ability to fulfill unmet community needs. The proposed cuts would drastically limit the number of national service participants engaged in service, and hinder their ability to provide results-driven service to Americans in need.  This would mean fewer students receiving tutoring and mentoring services, fewer veterans and military families benefiting from job training and other opportunities, and fewer boots on the ground in communities recovering and rebuilding after natural disasters.

Through a robust public-private partnership framework, national service programs administered by CNCS leverage the federal investment to generate matching support from private, philanthropic, and local sources.  A study by economists at Columbia University demonstrates that, for every dollar invested in national service, there are returns to society of nearly four dollars in terms of higher earnings, increased output, and other community-wide benefits.  In these austere economic times, when federal resources should be invested wisely, this return on investment should be relied upon, not ignored.

The case for investing in low-cost, high-yield national service programs is clear. We look forward to working with members of the Appropriations Committees in both the House and Senate to ensure national service programs are protected in upcoming appropriations negotiations.”

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.


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