As with all Federal agencies, the Peace Corps is funded through congress, so organizations like the NPCA must continuously advocate for a robust budget to support the Peace Corps and its mission.
Here's the latest Advocacy updates:
Funding for the ever popular Peace Corps Agency has been stagnant for 6 years at $410 million annually. With inflation this effectively is less money for the agency every year. The agency struggles to fulfil its responsibilities with dwindling funds year after year. HR 1456 Reauthorisation of the Peace Corps sponsored by Representative John Garamendi D-CA (who is a former PCV) and Representative Garrett Graves (R-LA) was submitted on March 1, 2021, the 60th anniversary of the Peace Corps. It increases the agency’s appropriation from $410 million in 2021 to $450 million in 2022.
$450 million will enable the agency to train and support 7300 volunteers, who will likely return to their host countries this fall. It will also help the agency enhance its current programs for existing and returning volunteers. The vision of the agency is to gradually increase the number of volunteers over the next few years. Due to the popularity of the Peace Corps, its stellar image and the altruism of many who want to serve, more apply than can be assigned to a country requesting volunteers.
It is important that our representatives vote for this legislation. Of the 8 Minnesota representatives only Representatives Philips and Craig have voiced their support and intention to vote yes. Representative McCollum is on the appropriations and International Affairs committee, has been a strong supporter of the agency and will most likely vote for this legislation. Representatives Omar, Hagedorn, Emmer, Fischbach and Stauber have not voiced their support of HR 1456 and need to hear from their constituents.
The Peace Corps has great bipartisan support, but is an easy target for budget cutting. Currently it uses less than 1% of the federal budget for International Affairs. Any cut greatly affects how the agency can train and provide support for volunteers.
Please contact your congressional delegate and their staff asking for support for HR 1456. This can be done easily by going to the National Peace Corps Agency website advocacy page (https://advocacy.peacecorpconnect.org) and using the given link to send a message to your congressional representative.