What will Peace Corps Do in the Absence of Appropriations?

March 11, 2022, UPDATE:  Late on the night of March 10, 2022, the Senate approved the Appropriations Bill funding the federal government until the end of this fiscal year, September 30, 2022.  The House had already passed the Government Funding Bill.  The Bill goes to President Biden for his signature, which he has promised.  No more  “Continuing Resolutions” are necessary.  There will be no government shutdown.  Peace Corps will be able to continue its intention to send Volunteers once more to host countries.

Congress must approve a Continuing Resolution to fund the federal government. The deadline to pass the CR is this Friday,  March 11, 2022.  The Resolution must pass both Houses of Congress.  If no  Continuing Resolution is passed, the federal government would “shut down” in the absence of funding, until or unless a new budget is approved or a new Continuing Resolution is passed.

Last September 27, 2021,  Peace Corps issued the following statement to explain how the agency would proceed in the absence of funding, which was a possibility last Fall.  At that time, Congress acted and passed  a  Continuing Resolution to continue to fund the government. So the policy described here did not have to go into effect.

 

Last September, there were no Volunteers serving and no date certain to return Volunteers to countries. Now Peace Corps is planning on sending Volunteers to the DR and Zambia in mid-March.  It is not known what the Peace Corps would do in the event that no Continuing Resolution is passed by March 11.  We will update when and if Peace Corps issues a statement.

 

PEACE CORPS OPERATIONS PLAN IN THE ABSENCE OF CURRENT YEAR APPROPRIATIONS Updated 27-SEP-2021
  1. PURPOSE
    This is guidance in the event of a lapse in current year appropriations (hereafter “lapse”), either through failure to pass a regular appropriations bill or a continuing resolution (CR). It may be supplemented by more specific guidance for any specific event. For example, the designation of excepted, funded, and other employees and use of available funding may vary depending on the circumstances of a specific lapse.
  2. AUTHORITY
    Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Circular A-11, Section 124, Agency Operations in the Absence of Appropriations.
  3. BACKGROUND
    Annually, the Peace Corps receives two-year appropriated funding. When a lapse occurs, it means the Peace Corps’ two-year appropriations bill has not been passed by Congress and signed by the President. However, any unused portion of the second year of funding from the previous year’s two-year appropriation remains available. This remaining fund balance is called “carryover.” Carryover funds may be used for operations during a lapseand are subject to the limitations described in this plan.
  4. POLICY
    It is the policy of the Peace Corps that in the event of a lapse, post operations in support of future or current Volunteer activities are deemed excepted. However, the continuation of our post operations often requires that funding be provided to posts to support those operations. As such, the agency will prioritize the use of carryover funding to support post operations.
  5. AMENDMENT
    The agency is in the midst of continuity of operations activities due to the global COVID- 19 pandemic. Currently, the agency has no Volunteers actively serving at any overseas posts. Each overseas and domestic Peace Corps office is working through varying operational phases. Currently, Peace Corps has remaining carryover balances to continue daily operations both domestically and overseas. If the agency projects that carryover funding will be exhausted prior to the receipt of new appropriations, Peace Corps will issue subsequent guidance on operations in the event of a lapse, including specific actions to cease daily operations in the event that the agency runs out of available appropriations.

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