WASHINGTON — Today, U.S. Senator Chris Coons (D-Del.) released the following statement on the House Education & Labor Committee’s portion of the budget reconciliation bill, which would enact core elements of President Biden’s American Rescue Plan as part of a broader package. The resolution includes $1 billion to expand national service programs to aid COVID-19 response and recovery, strengthen programs’ efforts on diversity and equity, and increase members’ living allowances.

“Across the country, AmeriCorps members are already on the front lines of COVID relief – staffing food banks and delivering meals, supporting logistics at vaccine and testing sites, and tutoring students who have fallen behind after months of distance learning. Their impact is enormous, but the need remains great. By taking steps to expand national service programs, we can empower tens of thousands of Americans who want to serve their communities and their country while meeting a host of urgent needs. Importantly, this legislation provides funding to raise the living allowance for corps members so that anyone who wants to serve is able to do so, all while gaining valuable skills for the future.

“This investment represents a down payment on our recovery that will tap into the American spirit, bind us more closely to our communities and fellow Americans, and help us emerge from this crisis stronger than ever. I look forward to passing it into law.”

Senator Coons has built the largest bipartisan coalition in a decade for a bold expansion of AmeriCorps. He and Senator Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) introduced the Cultivating Opportunity and Response to the Pandemic through Service (CORPS) Act to significantly expand national service programs in response to COVID-19. Last year, the bill gained the support of 18 bipartisan senators and more than 160 organizations. For more information, please click here.