Rajeev Wins! Senate Approves $400 Million For The Peace Corps
Yesterday the U.S. Senate gave final congressional approval of a $400 budget to fund the Peace Corps in Fiscal Year 2010.
President Obama is expected to sign the appropriations package into law shortly.
The $400 million appropriation for Peace Corps is larger than Obama’s budget request, and is the result of work that Rajeev and others did to get the government to support the Peace Corps agency.
Thank you, Rajeev! You’re the Little RPCV That Could!
Watch Rajeev on Nightly News with Brian Williams
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Rajeev’s work over the past 18 months has been nothing short of remarkable. About this time in the appropriation process over the past several years Peace Corps has been left behind. This year, thanks to Rajeev, Sam Farr, Jonathan Pearson and many, many others, Peace Corps has received a substantial increase to fund the improvements and expansion promised by President Obama. And Peace Corps has a new Director committed to a Better, Bolder and Bigger Peace Corps, and with the skills and dedication to make it happen.
Time to celebrate – then begin the struggle anew for another increase in resources for Peace Corps for 2011 – the Fiftieth!!!
Bold tenacity carries the day. Bravos to all who were engaged. Use it effectively PC/Wash. Bill
Rajeev is a one-man National Peace Corps Association! Our hero!
In fact, he and the others plus the 16,000 did what the NPCA and its somnambulant forbears have, to my knowledge, never done: established a useful presence on Capital Hill. Let such direct lobbying take root.
Because I bet if he or someone like him with real initiative ran the NPCA he would not only—over time—enlarge the PC budget, he would figure out ways that RPCVs could help represent to Congress the real on-the-ground interests of the people in the countries where they served.
This is as important a task as raising budgets. Haven’t most of us had the experience of watching ignorant American foreign policy undo the work of the Peace Corps in our home countries?
Even the various PC country Friends groups rarely, if ever, get it to together to lobby Congress on their behalf. For example, our quite active Friends of Nigeria group (FON) has NEVER done it. They raise money to support other kinds of volunteer efforts in Nigeria, but never go to DC to simply Walk The Halls of Congress to educate Congress about Nigeria. I don’t even think they have ever worked Congress to get PC back into Nigeria!
In the future, maybe if someone lit a lobbying FIRE under the rears of these Friends groups, they might come out of their past and serve the present.
Then congressional committees and staff might start to listen to savvy RPCVs if they became seen as holding useful and trustworthy views. Which opinions might build the kind of real-world political constituency PC has not had on the Hill in two generations.
Leading towards the budget required for the original PC goal of 25,000 Volunteers.
Tom Hebert, Nigeria 62-64