Fiscal Year 2007
here to read a letter from 59 Members of
the U.S. House of Representatives calling on
the House Labor-HHS Appropriations leadership
to support the more robust fiscal year 2007 funding
levels for national service approved by their
here to read the response of over 100 Private
Sector Leaders to the proposed AmeriCorps cuts.
here to read a letter from Governor Arnold
Schwarzenegger (R-CA) urging Congressional appropriators
to increase funding for national service programs.
here to read a letter from 57 members of
the U.S. House of Representatives calling on
their colleagues to reject the funding cuts proposed
by the White House.
here to read a resolution passed by the Philadelphia
City Council urging Congress to restore federal
funding for national service programs to the
Fiscal Year 2004 level.
here to read a letter from representatives
of AmeriCorps organizations serving in Greater
here to read a letter from more than 300
national service programs that urges Congress
to fully fund national service programs.
here to read a press release about Vermont's
legislative stand for national service.
here to read a letter from 16 Senators calling
on their colleagues to restore funding for the
National Civilian Community Corps, while retaining
funding for other national service programs.
here to read a resolution passed in the Vermont
Senate calling on Congress to provide funding
for the National Civilian Community Corps.
here to read testimony submitted to Congress
from Voices for National Service.
here to read a letter from Voices for National
Service to President Bush urging him to increase
support for AmeriCorps and Learn and Serve America
in his fiscal year 2007 budget.
Legislative Update, November 30,
Congress will return next week, December 4, for a lame
duck session. Lawmakers, however, are not expected
to finish the remainder of the fiscal 2007 spending bills
before adjourning for the year. Instead, they will
enact another short-term continuing resolution, or stopgap
spending measure, that will keep the government’s
agencies and programs funded through January 2007.
To date, Congress has cleared only two fiscal 2007 spending
bills, Defense and Homeland Security. Neither
the House nor the Senate has voted on the Labor-HHS Appropriations
bill, the measure that funds the Corporation for National
and Community Service and its three core programs. It
is anticipated that the continuing resolution (CR) will
continue to fund the Corporation’s programs at their
FY06 enacted levels.
The 110th congressional session will begin January 4th,
and the unfinished FY07 spending bills will be at the top
of the legislative agenda. President Bush’s
FY08 budget recommendations will be submitted to Congress
on Monday, February 5.
Legislative Update, November 15,
On November 15, Senators Chris Dodd (D-CT) and Thad Cochran
(R-MS) introduced S.4053, the Summer of Service Act, along
with six additional co-sponsors. The Summer of Service
Act would create a competitive grant program enabling States
and localities to offer students making the transition
from middle to high school an opportunity to participate
in a structured community service program over the summer
months. To review the bill text and summary, click
Legislative Update, October 17, 2006
On October 17, the President signed HR. 6197, legislation
to reauthorize the Older Americans Act. The bill contains
language on older American volunteer and service activity
and directs the Administration on Aging (AOA) to develop
a comprehensive plan for engaging older adults in meeting
critical community needs. AOA is to provide demonstration
grants to nonprofit organizations to carry out multigenerational
and civic engagement activities such as those that connect
older and younger people in child care, youth day care,
after school programs, and library and education assistance
programs. To review the Older Americans Act legislation, click
Legislative Update, October 1, 2006
On October 1, the House and Senate adjourned, returning home
through the mid-term elections. Before adjourning, Congress
passed a stop-gap funding measure, known as a continuing
Fiscal year 2006 expired on October 1 and to date - only
two of the 12 annual appropriations bills have passed both
the House and Senate. The continuing resolution will keep
funds flowing to most federal programs until the CR expires
on November 17.
National service programs - funded through the Labor-HHS-Education
Appropriations bill - will stay funded at their fiscal
year 2006 level for the duration of the CR.
Legislative Update, September 29,
On September 29, 2006, led by the National Service Congressional
Caucus Co-Chairs, 59 Members of the U.S. House of Representatives
signed a letter calling on the House Labor-HHS Appropriations
leadership to support the more robust fiscal year 2007
funding levels for national service approved by their Senate
here, to read the letter.
The Senate Labor-HHS-Education Appropriations Subcommittee
reported out a fiscal year 2007 funding bill that includes
$876.5 million for the Corporation for National and Community
Service and its programs. The Senate provides the agency
$53.6 million more than the House and $25 million more
than the President’s request.
Legislative Update, September 27,
On September 27, Senators Arlen Specter (R-PA) and Hillary
Clinton (D-NY) and Representatives Christopher Shays (R-CT)
and Jim Moran (D-VA) introduced the Public Service Academy
Act. The Act would create a civilian public service academy
similar to the Naval Academy or West Point.
The proposed 5,000-person undergraduate academy would
be free to students in return for a five year commitment
to work in government, in public schools, or in nonprofit
or military organizations. The academy would train all
students in emergency response to national disasters.
To learn more, visit www.uspublicserviceacademy.org.
Legislative Update, July 18, 2006
On July 18, 2006, the Senate Labor-HHS-Education Appropriations
Subcommittee reported out a fiscal year 2007 funding bill
that includes $876.5 million for the Corporation for National
and Community Service and its programs. The Senate provides
the agency $53.6 million more than the House and $25 million
more than the President’s request.
The Senate recommends:
- $258.9 million for AmeriCorps State and National Grants
($41 million above the House bill, $6 million less than
- $124.7 million for the National Service Trust ($13.8
million less than FY06)
- $34.1 million for Learn and Serve America ($3 million
less than FY06)
- $26.7 million for the National Civilian Community Corps
(NCCC) (level funding)
- The Senate bill does not include the House language
reducing the post-service AmeriCorps Education Award
There are many steps left in the appropriations process
before final funding levels are enacted. First, the full
Senate Appropriations Committee will meet on Thursday,
July 20 to review the subcommittee’s recommendation.
Next, the House and Senate bills will be brought to the
floor for consideration, after which a special committee
will meet to reconcile the differences. Finally, the House
and Senate must pass an identical bill before it can be
sent to the President for his signature.
The appropriations process could extend several months,
and it is critical that we engage our congressional leaders
during this time to build additional support for national
service. Please invite Members of Congress to visit your
program or participate in a day of service. You can click
here for tips on how to schedule a visit with an elected
June 28, 2006
The committee report which accompanied the House Labor-HHS
Appropriations bill recommended cutting the post-service
educational benefit by $675. Language in the committee
report states that the AmeriCorps Education Award should
track the maximum Pell Grant, which is currently $4050.
A major difference: the Ed Award is taxed; Pell Grants
are not. The Education Award has never been increased,
despite escalating education costs.
Voices for National Service strongly opposes the post-service
benefit cut. Reducing it sends the wrong message to those
who wish to serve our country. Go to the Action
Page to voice your own reaction to Members of Congress.
June 7, 2006
On June 7th, the House Labor-HHS Appropriations Subcommittee
reported out an FY07 funding bill that includes $26.7M
for the National Civilian Community Corps, but cuts AmeriCorps
State and National Grants by nearly 20%.
The House bill provides $218 million for AmeriCorps grants
($46.7 million below FY06), $124.7 million for the National
Service Trust ($13.9 million below FY06) and $34.2 million
for Learn & Serve America ($3 million below FY06).
According to David Eisner, Corporation for National and
Community Service CEO, "We are disappointed that the
Subcommittee recommended funding level is below President
Bush’s request; however, we anticipate getting further
clarifications in the committee report which will be issued
in the coming days. We also recognize that today’s
markup is one step in a long process. The bill now goes
to the full House Appropriations Committee for consideration,
and then on to the House floor. The Senate must also move
a bill through its process, and the two bills must be reconciled
by a conference committee before they are sent to the President
for signature sometime in the fall. As each step in the
process continues, we will share information with you as
it becomes available." Click
here to read the complete Eisner statement.
Legislative Update, May 4, 2006
On May 4, the U.S. Senate passed H.R. 4939, the Fiscal
Year 2006 Emergency Supplemental Appropriations Bill. The
spending package funds ongoing military operations in Iraq
and Afghanistan and recovery and reconstruction activities
in hurricane-affected Gulf Coast areas. Included in the
bill is $20 million for the National Civilian Community
Corps (NCCC) to continue their disaster relief work in
the Gulf through August 2007.
Two amendments were introduced to strike the NCCC funding
from the bill by Senator Tom Coburn (OK) and Senator John
Thune (SD). Senator Coburn voluntarily withdrew his amendment,
and Senator Thune's amendment was defeated, 39-59.
here to review the vote tally and see how your senator
A "Yea" vote was in support of Thune - taking
the $20 million reserved for the NCCC and using it to increase
funding for Veteran's Healthcare. A "Nay" vote
was in opposition to Thune - sustaining the $20 million
to support the NCCC's ongoing disaster relief assistance
in the Gulf Coast Region.
The Emergency Supplemental now heads into conference,
where the House and Senate must reconcile the differences
between their individual bills. The House Supplemental
provided $92 billion for defense, hurricane recovery and
other projects, while the Senate bill totaled nearly $109
billion. How the conferees might reconcile the vastly different
spending amounts and what cuts will be made are unclear.
Legislative Update, April 4, 2006
On April 4, the Senate Appropriations Committee approved
a $106.5 billion Fiscal Year 2006 Emergency Supplemental
Appropriations bill to support defense and foreign aid
and hurricane relief and recovery efforts. The Senate
funding package includes $20 million for the National Civilian
Community Corps (NCCC) to continue their disaster relief
work in the Gulf Coast and other affected areas.
The Supplemental is expected to come before the full
Senate for debate during the week of April 24. After
its passage, the Senate's bill must be reconciled with
the House-passed bill, which does not include funding for
Legislative Update, February
On Monday, February 6, 2006, President Bush sent to Congress
his fiscal year 2007 budget request which recommend $851
million for the Corporation for National and Community
Service and its three core programs - AmeriCorps, Senior
Corps and Learn & Serve America. This recommendation is
5% below the Corporation's FY06 appropriation. While the
Administration has proposed level funding for VISTA and
Senior Corps, the FY07 Budget includes a $20 million reduction
in AmeriCorps funding and an 8% cut ($3 million) for Learn & Serve.
The White House also recommends the termination of the
National Civilian Conservation Corps, providing $5 million
to close the program's regional campuses.
For more information on the President's FY07 request,
including a message from CNCS CEO David Eisner and a copy
of the agency's Congressional Budget Justification, click
Fiscal Year 2006
here to see VNS testimony submitted to Congress.
here to read a letter signed by over 160
national service leaders urging President Bush
to sustain support for national service.
- Click here to read David Eisner's Written
Testimony and Oral
Testimony delivered before the House Appropriations
Subcommittee on Labor Health and Human Services,
Education, and Related Agencies.
here to read a letter from 42 Members of
Congress calling on House leaders to preserve
and grow national service programs.
Legislative Update, December
On December 22, 2005, Congress passed the final Labor-Education-Health
and Human Services spending bill, providing fiscal year
2006 funds for the Corporation for National and Community
Service and its three major programs: AmeriCorps, Learn
and Serve America and Senior Corps. The bill provides
AmeriCorps with $407.5 million, $23 million less than last
year. Since AmeriCorps received its record appropriation
in fiscal year 2004, funding for AmeriCorps operating grants
has declined nearly 15%, $46 million.
The funding package was approved and signed into law
by President Bush on December 30th.
While Congressional support for national service continues
to grow deeper, our supporters in Washington have other
competing priorities and limited government resources are
in demand. On February 7 and 8, 2006, Voices for National
Service will host a celebration of service on Capitol Hill.
These events, a congressional awards reception and the
3rd annual Voices for AmeriCorps, will take place the day
after President Bush submits his Fiscal Year 2007 budget
request to Congress. This is a valuable opportunity
to thank our champions and ask for their continued support. To
register for the D.C. events, please email email@example.com.
Legislative Update, October
On Oct. 27, the Senate passed the fiscal year 2006 Labor,
Health and Human Services and Education bill, which contains
a total of $935.2 million for the Corporation for National
and Community Service. The total for FY05 was $927.01 million. The
bill includes $280 million in AmeriCorps State and National
Grants, $149 million for the National Service Trust Fund,
$42.6 million for Learn and Serve America, and $12.6 million
in State Commission Administrative Grants. Under
this bill, several programs, including AmeriCorps Grants,
AmeriCorps*NCCC, and Learn and Serve America, are slated
to receive more than President Bush's request. The
Senate also approved an amendment proposed by Sen. Ken
Salazar, D-CO, calling for a report on Corporation programs
that are based in rural areas. The spending plan now moves
to a conference committee, who will attempt to resolve
the House-Senate differences and send a reconciled bill
to the President for his signature.
Legislative Update, September
On September 30, fiscal year 2005 ended. To
date, only 2 of 11 fiscal year 2006 appropriations bills
have been signed into law. In order to keep
the government running after the current fiscal year expired,
Congress passed a seven week-long continuing resolution
(CR). The CR prevents a government shutdown as Congress
continues to debate the 9 remaining funding bills, including
the Labor, HHS and Education bill which funds the Corporation
for National and Community Service and its programs.
The CR pegs the funding for each federal program to the
lowest of three numbers - the House-passed 2006 funding
level, the Senate-passed 2006 level or the fiscal year
2005 enacted appropriations. This is a relatively
unusual strategy that allows congressional leadership to
cut costs in the short-term while also putting pressure
on lawmakers to hurry up and finish the remaining bills.
AmeriCorps will be funded at the FY06 House-passed level,
$413 million ($267 million for operating grants and $146
million for the trust). This is $16 million below
the program's fiscal year 2005 appropriation.
Legislative Update, September
On September 13, in response to Hurricane Katrina, Congressman
Harold Ford, Jr. and the co-chairs of the National Service
Congressional Caucus introduced legislation to expand AmeriCorps
by 10,000 members. H.R. 3796, the AmeriCorps Disaster
Relief Corps Act, authorizes the Corporation for National
and Community Service to award 10,000 additional AmeriCorps
positions to programs providing humanitarian assistance
to victims of major disasters and emergencies. Corps
members will help disaster victims rebuild their lives
by providing urgent supplies and relocation assistance,
constructing temporary housing for evacuees and providing
much-needed teaching and administrative support functions
for school systems where displaced children have enrolled.
Corps members will also help local businesses get back
on their feet and provide employment services for victims,
such as job training and job placement assistance.
According to Congressman Ford, "One of Katrina's
most critical lessons is that, while government must assume
a lead role in disaster recovery, it cannot act alone. National
service has never been more important or been ready to
play a more important role than it is today. Hurricane
Katrina and the attacks of 9/11 showed us the kind of devastation
that is possible from both natural and man-made causes. The
Disaster Relief Corps will harness the tremendous outpouring
of civic pride and volunteerism that we have all witnessed
in recent days and put it to work to rebuild America."
Current cosponsors of H.R. 3796 include: Representatives
Chris Shays (R-CT), Tom Osborne (R-NE), David Price (D-NC),
Susan Davis (D-CA), Brian Higgins (D-NY), Michael McNulty
(D-NY), Major Owens (D-NY), Chaka Fattah (D-PA), Stephen
Lynch (D-MA) and Chris Van Hollen (D-MD).
Senators Mary Landrieu (D-LA) and David Vitter (R-LA)
have included the AmeriCorps Disaster Relief Corps Act
to their Hurricane Katrina Disaster Relief and Economic
Recovery Act, a comprehensive piece of legislation to provide
long-term relief and much-needed assistance to the people
of Louisiana and the Gulf Coast as they work to recover
and rebuild the region.
Legislative Update, July 24,
On June 24, the U.S. House Representatives passed the
fiscal year 2006 Labor, Health and Human Services, Education
and Related Agencies Appropriations bill, a package that
includes $416 million for AmeriCorps State and National
grants and the National Service Trust. The
House appropriation is $5 million below President Bush's
FY06 request and $14 million less than last year's enacted
level. The White House's Office of Management
and Budget issued a Statement of Administration Policy
before the bill's passage noting that: "The Administration
appreciates the Committee's support for national service
programs but is disappointed that the Committee did not
fully fund the request for AmeriCorps grants...These programs
would support 75,000 AmeriCorps members and volunteer teachers
in low-income, underserved communities." SAP.
Since AmeriCorps received its record appropriation in
fiscal year 2004, funding for AmeriCorps State and National
Grants has seen a steady and persistent decline. This
year the House recommended $270 million for grants, $17
million less than FY05. The money organizations use
for program operation was cut by 8.5% in FY05 and the House
cuts another 6% this year. A continued reduction
in operational support will disproportionately affect programs
in rural or low-wealth communities who lack the depth of
private sector funding needed to offset program expenses.
During debate on the bill, an amendment was introduced
by Congressman Tom Price (R-GA) to transfer $70 million
from AmeriCorps State and National Grants to fund the Department
of Education's Teacher Incentive Fund. The
House had already provided $100 million in new money for
the teacher incentive program, and the Appropriations Committee
opposed the Tom Price amendment. The National
Service Congressional Caucus (co-chaired by Reps. Chris
Shays (R-CT), David Price (D-NC), Tom Osborne (R-NE) and
Harold Ford, Jr. (D-TN)) quickly mobilized, sending letters
to their colleagues urging them to resist all efforts to
strike the AmeriCorps funding from the bill. The
Tom Price amendment was defeated by a vote of 298 to 102,
demonstrating strong bipartisan support for AmeriCorps
in the House. Roll
The Labor-HHS bill has been referred to the Senate for
their consideration, and a Senate subcommittee markup has
been scheduled for July 12.
Legislative Update, March 3, 2005
For the past 10 years, the Corporation for National and
Community Service and its programs have been funded by
two separate Appropriations subcommittees – Labor-Health
and Human Services-Education (VISTA and Senior Corps) and
Veteran Affairs-Housing and Urban Development–Independent
Agencies (AmeriCorps, NCCC, and Learn and Serve). Recently
both the Senate and the House Appropriations Committees
elected to disband the VA-HUD Subcommittee, changing the
way they fund the Corporation and its programs. Under the
new structure, funding responsibility for all Corporation
programs is transferred to the Labor-HHS Subcommittee.
For the first time, the entire Corporation budget will
be considered by a single subcommittee in each house of
The House Labor-HHS Subcommittee has scheduled their
hearing on the Corporation’s FY06 budget for April
20, 2005. CEO David Eisner will testify before the Subcommittee.
Legislative Update, February 7,
On February 7, President Bush sent his FY06 budget request
to Capitol Hill. The $2.57 trillion funding package included
$421 million for AmeriCorps operating grants to support
75,000 members. The budget request expands AmeriCorps membership
by 5,000 members (over the FY05 enacted level) at the same
time overall funding is reduced by 2.3 percent.
Since AmeriCorps received its record appropriation in
fiscal year 2004, the program has seen a decline in its
funding. The President’s request is $9 million below
the FY05 enacted level ($430M) and $20 million below FY04