Reps. Huffman, Larson, Phillips Call for Prioritizing National Service in Future COVID-19 Relief

Letter to House Leadership Details Need to Fully Utilize Volunteers in Pandemic Recovery Efforts

May 04, 2020

San Rafael, CA – Today, Representatives Jared Huffman (CA-02), John B. Larson (CT-01), and Dean Phillips (MN-03) led a letter to House leadership urging them to focus on national service priorities in future stimulus legislation and invest in the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNSC) to aid in recovery efforts during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. 

Specifically, the letter asks that the next congressional response include enough funding for CNCS to recruit and deploy up to 500,000 volunteers for each fiscal year through 2022. Additionally, it proposes that returned Peace Corps volunteers be mobilized into domestic programs and projects to combat the pandemic.

“As we work to overcome this pandemic, we must invest in resources that will see our country through the crisis and its aftermath. The Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) and its volunteers are on the front lines of the recovery effort, providing disaster assistance, educational opportunities, meal support and much more,”the members wrote. “As funding requests abound for recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, investing in the CNCS and reimagining the service of Returned Peace Corps Volunteers are investments in the continued rebuilding of the nation.”

For the first time in its history, the Peace Corps suspended operations this March, evacuating over 7,000 volunteers from more than 60 countries because of the coronavirus pandemic. With thousands of volunteers now out of work, Rep. Huffman and his colleagues are urging Congressional leadership to utilize this force in the fight against COVID-19.

A copy of the full letter can be found here.