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Houlahan Leads Call to Prevent Devastating Cuts to AmeriCorps

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Representative Chrissy Houlahan (D-PA), joined by 24 Members of Congress, sent a letter to the Republican-led House leadership to reverse course and preserve funding for AmeriCorps, the nation’s premier national and community service organization. Houlahan is one of only a handful of members who have served in AmeriCorps – she did so as a chemistry teacher in Philadelphia through Teach for America. 

Background: 

In 2023, AmeriCorps offered more than 200,000 service opportunities to people all over the country. Service opportunities include assisting communities hit by natural disasters, teaching in some of our nation’s most underserved school districts, supporting local nonprofits, and more. 
 

Funding for AmeriCorps falls under the Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies (Labor-HHS) Appropriations bill. The current FY24 Labor-HHS proposal for AmeriCorps funding would result in the loss of more than 60,000 member positions, representing nearly a third of the program. Congress is approaching a March 8 deadline to pass the FY24 Labor-HHS Appropriations bill or another continuing resolution. 

 

The full letter can be found here

 

“National service remains one of the great unifiers in our country, bringing people together across partisan lines regardless of background. Like military service, community service helps to bridge the divisions that exist our nation, and performs a vital role in every state,” the lawmakers wrote. “Not only do these opportunities provide an important avenue for Americans to come together at a time when we seemingly couldn’t be more divided, but AmeriCorps funding offers an excellent return on investment for our communities. One recent study demonstrated that for every $1 Congress invests in AmeriCorps and in AmeriCorps Seniors, our country benefits more than $17.” 

 

The lawmakers concluded: “National service is a public-private partnership which recognizes that America is at its best when citizens work together in common purpose. The resources provided by AmeriCorps, matched by significant support from the private sector, are helping organizations across the country work in creative ways to tackle our most persistent and costly challenges. We urge you to take every opportunity to close the funding gap AmeriCorps faces.” 

 

In 2022, Houlahan joined the City of Reading’s new Climate Corps, a program within AmeriCorps, to clean up the trail surrounding the Reading Pagoda.