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ACTION ALERT

Posted by Jerry Duchene Saavedra on December 9, 2010


From our friends at Voices for National Service:

Call your U.S. Senators on Thursday and Friday to urge them to support an Omnibus Appropriations bill, a legislative package that would fund the federal government through next September.

An Omnibus Appropriations bill may be the only opportunity to increase the fiscal year 2011 budget for the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS). With additional federal support, CNCS and its grantees can continue work towards fulfilling the vision of the Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act.

Background

Today, the House of Representatives is expected to pass a year-long Continuing Resolution that will hold overall spending at fiscal year 2010 levels, $1.09 trillion. Congress has already enacted two continuing resolutions for FY11, which began in October. The second is set to expire on December 18.

While the House CR includes additional funds for a few domestic priorities and the war operations in Afghanistan and Iraq, the legislation does not increase funding for any of CNCS’ core programs – Learn & Serve America, Senior Corps, AmeriCorps, NCCC or VISTA. The bill includes an additional $20 million for the National Service Trust Fund. But this one-time investment in the Trust will only ensure that the AmeriCorps Education Award keeps pace with the maximum value of the Pell Grant, as authorized in the Serve America Act. All of the other CNCS accounts are funded at FY10 levels and this would not allow for any program growth in 2011.

Later this week the Senate is expected to consider an Omnibus Appropriations bill that provides additional funds for many agencies and programs, including the Corporation for National and Community Service. Sources have indicated that the Senate’s Omnibus package includes $1.306 billion for CNCS, an increase of $157 million above FY10 levels.

How You Can Help

The Senate will need 60 votes to move an Omnibus Package past procedural votes. Given this may be our only opportunity to increase the CNCS budget in FY11, we encourage you to call your Senators and ask them to vote in favor of an Omnibus. In this economic downturn as social needs continue to mount, and and as American look for ways to give back, national service is a critical, cost-effective tool that engages citizens in tackling our most pressing challenges. The federal investment in the Corporation for National and Community Service is required to meet the goals set forth by the Serve America Act. Congress should complete the FY11 appropriations process now and pass an Omnibus Appropriations bill.

HOW TO CONTACT YOUR MEMBER OF CONGRESS

► If you need help determining the members of your congressional delegation, visit http://www.congress.org. This database will provide you with contact information for your elected officials.

► You can call your Senators directly or be connected through the Senate Operator (202-224-3121). Once connected, identify yourself as a constituent and ask to speak to the Legislative Assistant in change of national service and education issues.

Special Note: This is a time sensitive issue. This vote could occur this week.

We must regularly contact all our elected officials to update them on our programs and ask for their loyal support. They have tough decisions to make and they must balance many competing priorities. Therefore it is important that they hear from concerned citizens about issues of importance.

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Posted in Advocacy and Policy, Senate, Serve America Act | Leave a Comment »

We Did It!

Posted by Zach Maurin on March 27, 2009

Yesterday, the Senate passed the Serve America Act 79-19. This bipartisan vote was more than we could ever ask. You can see just how your senator voted at Senate.gov.

With the passing of this legislation you must give yourself a pat on the back. No one organization or individual could have done this. And we have every one of you to thank for making your voice heard in so many different ways.

You may be wondering what the next steps are. Because there were two different versions that went through the House and the Senate they must be combined and approved again. The House will receive the Serve America Act sometime next week to approve the changes from the Senate. Hopefully that vote will be just as bipartisan as the previous votes. Once approved by the House the bill goes to President Barack Obama to be signed into law!

Thank you again for all of your hard work ad support. And please do not forget to thank your Senator/Representative. Click the link to sign a thank you card to Congress.

Posted in Advocacy and Policy, Senate, Serve America Act, service | Leave a Comment »

 
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