Dear Service-Learning Colleagues:
On Friday evening, the House Appropriations Committee approved their FY10 Labor-HHS Appropriations bill that includes $160.7 billion in discretionary spending, $5.6 billion more than in 2009 and $52 million less than what President Obama requested. As we reported earlier, this bill includes $1.059 billion for the Corporation for National and Community Service. This is a $169 million increase to implement the new Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act.
The House mark, however, is $90 million below the President's request. The $90 million difference is largely across four accounts: AmeriCorps State and National, the National Service Trust, the Social Innovation Fund and CNCS's Operating Budget. Learn and Serve America received $39.5 million, which is consistent with the president's request of an additional $2 million, but far less than we'd hoped to put us on the path to truly expanding service-learning in our nation's schools and communities.
Now our full attention shifts to the Senate, which begins deliberations this week (with congressional staff already preparing recommendations, etc.). I'm going to borrow words from our colleague AnnMaura Connolly of Voices for National Service:
"We need media, lots of media, especially in the states where the senate appropriations subcommittee members are from. We have to push for the entire President's request. After all of the incredible work and effort by everyone on this email and many others, we managed to pass major new legislation in the first 100 days of this administration. We have to push hard to realize the promise of The Edward M. Kennedy Act. We can't just let Congress-after that historic vote-slide by with an appropriation that doesn't get as close as possible to the first year of the Serve America Act."
For those of us that care about the funding for service-learning, this is our last chance to push for a bigger increase for Learn and Serve America. While the House supported the president's increase of $2 million, we're still no where close to being where need to be to dramatically expand opportunities for all young people to learn and serve.
The list of Senate Appropriators is below (subcommittee members indicated with an *). Scan the list now to see if there is a member from your state or if you have programs or local affiliates in these states.
--Who can help contact these offices? We should reach out to the entire Appropriations Committee, with a special emphasis on members of the Labor-HHS subcommittee (indicated by an *).
On Monday, we'll send a call to action with talking points and contact information to help supporters make calls and send e-messages to these members. But we also need to know who can make "high level" calls directly to the senators (or senior members in their offices).
--Who can help generate local media in the states where these senators are located?
FULL APPROPRIATIONS COMMITTEE
DANIEL K. INOUYE, Hawaii, Chairman*
ROBERT C. BYRD, West Virginia
PATRICK J. LEAHY, Vermont
TOM HARKIN, Iowa*
BARBARA A. MIKULSKI, Maryland
HERB KOHL, Wisconsin*
PATTY MURRAY, Washington*
BYRON DORGAN, North Dakota
DIANNE FEINSTEIN, California
RICHARD J. DURBIN, Illinois*
TIM JOHNSON, South Dakota
MARY L. LANDRIEU, Louisiana*
JACK REED, Rhode Island*
FRANK R. LAUTENBERG, New Jersey
BEN NELSON, Nebraska
MARK PRYOR, Arkansas*
JON TESTER, Montana
ARLEN SPECTER, Pennsylvania*
THAD COCHRAN, Mississippi, Vice Chairman*
CHRISTOPHER S. BOND, Missouri
MITCH MCCONNELL, Kentucky
RICHARD C. SHELBY, Alabama*
JUDD GREGG, New Hampshire*
ROBERT F. BENNETT, Utah
KAY BAILEY HUTCHISON, Texas*
SAM BROWNBACK, Kansas
LAMAR ALEXANDER, Tennessee*
SUSAN COLLINS, Maine
GEORGE VOINOVICH, Ohio
LISA MURKOWSKI, Alaska
Now is the time to pull out all of the stops. Once you call or send an email, please let us know by emailing Ace Parsi.
Thanks for everything you are all doing already, and let's bring it home!
National Service-Learning Partnership