“The Congressional Research Service (CRS) works exclusively for the United States Congress, providing policy and legal analysis to committees and Members of both the House and Senate, regardless of party affiliation. … Its highest priority is to ensure that Congress has 24/7 access to the nation’s best thinking.” Its current summary report on Peace Corps Issues, updated on October 12, 2018, can be read at: https://fas.org/sgp/crs/misc/RS21168.pdf
Peace Corps funding is discussed in detail and that is important. The information helps to answer the question: What happens to Peace Corps funding after December 7, 2018?
The federal government’s budget runs from fiscal year beginning on October 1, and ends on September 30, of the next year. Congress failed to pass a new budget by October 1, 2018 for fiscal 2019. Instead, Congress passed a Continuing Resolution, funding agencies at the old 2018 level. For Peace Corps, this means funding continues at the 2018 level of $410 million. The Continuing Resolution ends on December 7, 2018. These are some possible outcomes for Peace Corps:
- Congress could simply pass another Continuing Resolution until some future date.
- Congress could pass a budget for all of fiscal 2019. If Congress voted to accept the nonpartisan recommendations from its House and Senate committees, then Peace Corps would be funded at $410 million. If Congress voted to approve the President’s recommended budget, then Peace Corps would be funded at $396 million. The estimate is it would support 7400 Volunteers. Or, Congress could fund Peace Corps at some other level.
- Congress could fail to come to agreement on either a budget or a Continuing Resolution and there would be a government shut down.
The last government shutdown was in 2013 and was brief. At that time, the Washington Post listed some questions and answers about a government shut down. Read that list here: https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/2018/politics/government-shutdown-faq/?utm_term=.fba900c87426
We will continue to monitor Peace Corps to see if it issues any instructions on how it will respond to a government shut down.
In addditon to summarizing recent Peace Corps adminstrative history and the actions and concerns of Congress, the Congressional Research Report specifically reviews the Sam Farr and Nick Castle Peace Corps Reform Act of 2018, P.L. 115-256.
The report does have one omission to my way of thinking. It states: “The Peace Corps established a Global Health Services Partnership under the Response Program to recruit physicians and nurses as adjunct faculty in medical and schools in developing countries.” However, it does not note this partnership was terminated on September 30, 2018.