August 10, 2020
U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt, a Republican from Missouri, has announced that he will cosponsor the Cultivating Opportunity and Response to the Pandemic through Service Act, legislation that would expand national service programs to help the nation respond to and recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.
The CORPS Act would double the number of AmeriCorps positions available to 150,000 and provide approximately 600,000 service opportunities nationwide over the next three years to those looking to assist their communities amid the pandemic. These opportunities could include helping to expand food pantry capacity, mentoring and tutoring at-risk students, and helping to expand access to COVID-19 screening and testing.
Blunt, the chairman of the Senate's Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies, has long been an ally of AmeriCorps and other service programs. Under his leadership, his subcommittee has increased funding for AmeriCorps state and national grants by 28% in recent years.
“Americans are responding to the COVID-19 pandemic in the same way they’ve always responded to major national challenges — with an eagerness to do whatever they can to help their neighbors and communities make it through this crisis,” Blunt said in a statement. “National service organizations have the infrastructure in place to connect people who want to serve with opportunities to fill critical needs in their communities.”
Our editorial board, in full remembrance of everything that AmeriCorps did for Joplin after the 2011 tornado, recently lauded the CORPS Act and called on our lawmakers to support it. Thank you to Sen. Blunt for standing up for national service opportunities. They will be more critical than ever as the country tries to navigate a path forward through the COVID-19 pandemic.
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