Greetings From Your Government


"Please Report to ______  for Your Voluntary Service Obligation"



While everybody is watching the circus side show starring Barney Frank Paul Kanjorski and the members of the House Financial Services Committee, with a guest appearance by Edward Liddy, CEO of AIG, to entertain you with a non-issue, there is an extremely important debate being held on the floor of the House of Representatives.  The bill was introduced by House Representative Doris Matsui (D-CA).  On the Republican side of the aisle, the first speaker was Lincoln Diaz-Balart and he supports the bill so that's not a good sign.  


The Bill that is being debated is H.R. 1388 expanding and funding the National Community Service Programs.   The nickname of the Bill is the 'Give Act' - which means that you, the taxpayer are going to give away more money for what I believe is going to be universal service - "volunteer" service. 


According to Rep. Virginia Foxx, this bill provides $27,000 per "volunteer" and she said it was a jobs program.  Rep. Matsui's response to that was that most of the $27,000 was going to go to "support the infrastructure of volunteerism and to remove the barriers to volunteer service". 

Tomorrow when this debate is published in the Daily Journal, I will get it and post it on my website because this is a critical debate.  When you read it, you will be horrified. 


The following is a brief summary copied from Thomas, the document manager for Congress.  At the bottom, there is a link to the full text of the legislation - H.R. 1388. 


 "Give Act"





Generations Invigorating Volunteerism and Education Act or the GIVE Act - Amends the National and Community Service Act of 1990 (NSCA) and the Domestic Volunteer Service Act of 1973 (DVSA) to revise the programs under such Acts and reauthorize appropriations for such programs through FY2014.


Revises under NSCA: (1) the School-Based and Community-Based Service-Learning programs and Higher Education Innovative Programs for Community Service (Learn and Serve programs); (2) National Service Trust programs (AmeriCorps); (3) the National Civilian Community Corps (NCCC); and (4) the Investment for Quality and Innovation program.


Eliminates the current Community-Based Learn and Serve programs.


Establishes two new Learn and Serve programs: (1) Campuses of Service, which provides funds to institutions of higher education to develop or disseminate exemplary service-learning programs that assist their students' pursuit of public service careers; and (2) Innovative Service-Learning Programs and Research, which funds community service-learning opportunities for elementary and secondary, college, and graduate students as well as research into service-learning.


Includes among eligible AmeriCorps programs: (1) an Education Corps to address unmet educational needs; (2) a Healthy Futures Corps to address unmet health needs; (3) a Clean Energy Corps to address unmet environmental needs; and (4) a Veterans Corps to address the unmet needs of veterans and their families.


Creates AmeriCorps Opportunity Corps programs that include certain existing programs and new programs to: (1) increase community access to technology; (2) engage citizens in public safety, health, and emergency preparedness services; (3) mentor youth; (4) reduce recidivism by re-engaging court-involved youth; and (5) support the needs of veterans or active duty service members and their families.


Establishes an Education Awards Only program authorizing the Corporation for National and Community Service (Corporation) to provide fixed-amount grants to programs that have approved national service positions, but no AmeriCorps funding.


Sets the National Service educational awards for full-time AmeriCorps, NCCC, and Volunteers in Service to America (VISTA) participants at a level equal to the maximum available Pell Grant available to students under the Higher Education Act of 1965.


Includes among needs to be met under the NCCC program, disaster relief, infrastructure improvement, environmental and energy conservation, and urban and rural development.


Requires states to develop comprehensive plans for volunteer and paid service by Baby Boomers and older adults.


Directs the Corporation to plan pilot programs to: (1) better target and serve displaced workers; and (2) establish a centralized electronic citizenship verification system which would allow the Corporation to share employment eligibility information with the Department of Education.


Authorizes the Corporation to treat September 11th annually as a National Day of Service and Remembrance.


Establishes within the Investment for Quality and Innovation program: (1) a ServeAmerica Fellowships program providing fellowships to individuals chosen by states to participate in service projects addressing certain areas of national need; (2) a Silver Scholarship Grant Program providing scholarships to individuals age 55 or older who complete at least 500 hours of service in a year in an area of national need; and (3) an Encore Fellowships program providing one-year fellowships to individuals age 55 or older who serve in areas of national need and receive training to transition to public service employment. Makes ServeAmerica fellows eligible for national service educational awards.


Authorizes the Corporation to provide grants to innovative and model service programs, including those for disadvantaged youth, youth under age 17, and potential recidivists.


Eliminates federal funding for the Points of Light Foundation.


Revises under DVSA: (1) the VISTA program; and (2) the Senior Corps, including the Retired and Senior Volunteer program (RSVP), the Foster Grandparent program, and the Senior Companion program.


Gives priority in VISTA participant selection to disadvantaged youth and retired adults of any profession.


Authorizes new VISTA grant programs of national significance that provide poor and rural communities with: (1) services reintegrating formerly incarcerated individuals into society; (2) financial literacy and planning; (3) before-school and after-school services; (4) community economic development initiatives; (5) assistance to veterans and their families; and (6) health and wellness services. Eliminates the VISTA Literacy Corps, University Year for VISTA, and Literacy Challenge Grant programs.


Raises the minimum and maximum stipend provided to VISTA participants.


Prioritizes RSVP projects in specified areas.


Makes anyone 55 years of age or older eligible as Senior Corps volunteers.


Provides, under the Senior Corps demonstration program, incentive matching grants to Senior Corps programs that exceed specified performance measures, enroll most of their volunteers in outcome-based service programs, and increase their enrollment of Baby Boomer volunteers.


Expresses the sense of the Congress that the number of AmeriCorps, VISTA, and NCCC participants should reach 250,000 by 2014.


Congressional Commission on Civic Service Act - Establishes a Congressional Commission on Civic Service to provide recommendations to Congress on improving opportunities for individuals to volunteer or perform national service.



Link to the text of the legislation as posted on Thomas


H.R. 1388



Vicky Davis
March 18, 2009