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Coons-Wicker CORPS Act gains bipartisan cosponsors

Delaware News Desk

Sens. Chris Coons, D-Delaware, and Roger Wicker, R-Mississippi, announced Aug. 5 that Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Missouri, chairman of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies, and Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Illinois, the Democratic whip, are signing on to cosponsor the bipartisan CORPS — Cultivating Opportunity and Response to the Pandemic through Service — Act.

The CORPS Act would expand national service programs significantly to help the country respond to and recover from COVID-19. The senators are working to include it in the COVID-19 relief bill currently being negotiated in the Senate.

“Many of us have seen the very real impact that national service has on our communities and the young people who serve,” said Coons. “As our country works to respond to and recover from this pandemic, we should empower the hundreds of thousands of Americans who are ready to roll up their sleeves and serve their communities — whether it’s helping to combat hunger, strengthen our schools, or build capacity at community-based organizations. Sen. Wicker and I are grateful for the support of Sen. Blunt, Sen. Durbin and our colleagues, and look forward to working with them to include this important effort in the COVID-19 relief bill currently being considered in the Senate.”

The bill has gained the support of more than 160 organizations, including Voices for National Service, America’s Service Commissions, Service Year Alliance, FoodCorps, the Catholic Volunteer Network and The Corps Network.

The CORPS Act would quickly double the number of AmeriCorps positions available to 150,000 and provide a total of 600,000 service opportunities nationwide over the next three years to unemployed youth and others looking to assist their communities. These positions could support various response and recovery efforts based on community needs, including expanding food pantry capacity, mentoring and tutoring at-risk students and bridging health inequities by expanding access to COVID-19 screening and testing.

For a one-pager of the bill, visit bit.ly/39WRwTU.