|Senate Introduces The CORPS Act to Significantly Expand National Service Bipartisan Bill Aims to Engage National Service in COVID-19 Response and Recovery Over the Next Three Years|
June 16, 2020 -- Today is an important day for national service. This morning, Senators Chris Coons (D-DE) and Senator Roger Wicker (R-MS) announced the introduction of their new bipartisan Senate bill, the Cultivating Opportunity & Response to the Pandemic through Service (CORPS) Act, which if passed would significantly expand national service (as well as add flexibilities and increased benefits to those serving) to assist with COVID-19 response and recovery efforts over the next three years. Click here to read Senator Coons' press release about the bill.
About the CORPS Act: The United States has a strong history of citizen response to national calls to service in times of crisis. More than eighty years ago, our nation rose to the challenge of the Great Depression with the creation of citizen service programs like the Civilian Conservation Corps and the Works Progress Administration. Millions of participants benefited from paid opportunities to develop skills while constructing national parks and public lands infrastructure and producing cultural works still enjoyed generations later. Through decades of bipartisan evolution, today’s national service programs carry on that legacy.
National service programs, administered through the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), address critical local needs and fill gaps in social services. These programs, including AmeriCorps and Senior Corps, should be expanded during the COVID-19 response and recovery. To recover, we will need both meaningful employment opportunities and a significant expansion of human capital working to address community challenges exacerbated by the pandemic. National service presents a unique opportunity for a flexible, locally driven response to meet education, public health, employment and recovery necessities. The CORPS Act leans into the existing national service infrastructure that is already rooted in every state and enjoys bipartisan support from local and state leaders, mayors and governors.
“America’s Service Commissions applauds the leadership of the bipartisan CORPS Act for recognizing service as a strategic solution to addressing the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic through the CORPS Act. Expanding AmeriCorps, Senior Corps, and the Volunteer Generation Fund is essential to engaging the millions of Americans who want to serve their country right now in response to this crisis,” said Kaira Esgate, CEO of America’s Service Commissions (ASC). “The CORPS Act will enable governors to help more underserved and rural communities, and the flexibility to get national service boots-on-the-ground quickly. Our network of governor-led state service commissions can provide the local infrastructure to get this done, and stands ready to implement the CORPS Act across every state.”
Specifically, the CORPS Act:
Download a bill summary, infographic , and list of supporting organizations for your reference and use.
Thank you to this incredible list of bipartisan original cosponsors: Sen. Roger Wicker (R-MS), Sen. Chris Coons (D-DE), Sen. Lindsay Graham (R-SC), Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX), Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-LA), Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME), Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-MS), Sen. Jack Reed (D-RI), Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ), Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA), Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), Sen. Tammy Baldwin and Sen. Angus King (I-ME).
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Stay tuned for additional updates and action items so we can generate even more bipartisan support for The CORPS Act in the coming days and weeks!