Today is a historic day for national service, as the U.S. House of Representatives is considering the most extensive legislation to strengthen and expand national service since the Corporation for National and Community Service was created in 1993.
Beginning this morning at 10:30 am, the House will debate and vote on H.R. 1388, the Generations Invigorating Volunteerism and Education (GIVE) Act. This bill, which was approved on a 34-3 vote last week in the House Education and Labor Committee, would reauthorize and strengthen the programs of the Corporation for National and Community Service and create new opportunities for Americans of all ages to serve their country.
We thank Chairman George Miller, Ranking Member Howard McKeon, Subcommittee Chair Rep. Carolyn McCarthy, and other members of the Committee and the House Leadership for their strong support and swift action on this important legislation to update and strengthen our national service laws to engage more Americans in service to tackle tough problems.
The bipartisan support for moving national service legislation is due in large part to the value and impact of the programs that all of you in our Senior Corps, AmeriCorps, and Learn and Serve America field have been administering for decades. As First Lady Michelle Obama told a group of YouthBuild AmeriCorps members gathered in Washington yesterday, “Your part in this is that they've seen programs like this in action. They've seen young people coming out of programs like this, making a better way for themselves and adding value to the community.”
At this time of economic crisis, we need service and volunteering more than ever. This bipartisan legislation will strengthen national service programs, give more Americans the opportunity to serve, increase efficiency and accountability, support social innovation, strengthen our volunteer infrastructure, and help usher in a new generation of service for America.
I encourage you to read the Statement of Administration position on the bill, and to watch the proceedings on C-SPAN’s cable station or website. The House Rules Committee has posted the text of H.R. 1138 as reported by the Committee, the House Committee Report, and the Text and Summary of Amendments made in order for floor consideration. The House Education and Labor Committee website also has extensive information on the legislation. More information on national service legislation is on the Corporation’s History and Legislation page at http://www.nationalservice.gov/about/role_impact/history.asp
Corporation for National and Community Service