Good Peace Corps news from the Senate (Washington)

Thanks to the heads up from Bill Josephson (PC/HQ 1961-66)

Dear John,

The Senate unanimously passed on March 13 the Nick Castle Peace Corps Reform Act, S. 2286.  It was introduced in the House on March 14.  Attached is section 1(b), the Table of Contents.  It demonstrates the areas of Congressional concern and, therefore, of Congress’s opinion of the Peace Corps failings.

In my 57 years of monitoring Peace Corps legislation, I have never before seen such a wide-ranging list of Congressional concerns, even to the records and monitoring of Peace Corps training attendance.  (I’ve always had anecdotal doubts about overseas training.)

The Consolidated Appropriation Act continues the Peace Corps funding level of $410 million.  This makes even more important efforts to ensure that the Peace Corps’ 20 percent staff cuts savings go to enlisting more volunteers.

The only provision I regret is the easing of the five year flush.  I feel sure it will be abused.

Post this if you wish. Table of Contents

Best.

Bill

William Josephson
c/o Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson LLP
One New York Plaza, 27th Floor, New York, NY 10004

One Comment

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  • Here is the link to read the entire bill: https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/senate-bill/2286/text

    It is not a long read. The bill appears to put Peace Corps under much closer scrutiny by Congress. It will mandate that Peace Corps publish, on its website, the ET rate for each country and the results of Volunteer surveys. It will extend the life of the Sexual Assault Advisory Council to 2023.

    It also states this clause, which I presume is brand new:
    “SEC. 10A. CONSULTATION WITH CONGRESS REQUIRED BEFORE OPENING OR CLOSING OVERSEAS OFFICES AND COUNTRY PROGRAMS.

    “(a) In General.—Except as provided in subsection (b), the Director of the Peace Corps may not open, close, significantly reduce, or suspend a domestic or overseas office or country program unless the Director has notified and consulted with the Committee on Foreign Relations of the Senate, the Committee on Appropriations of the Senate, the Committee on Appropriations of the House of Representatives, and the Committee on Foreign Affairs of the House of Representatives.

    “(b) Waiver.—The Director may waive the application of subsection (a) if an action described in such subsection is necessary to ameliorate a substantial security risk to Peace Corps volunteers or other Peace Corps personnel.”.

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