Shaheen Helps Introduce Bill to Dramatically Expand National Service Amid COVID-19

May 05, 2020

(Washington, DC) – Today, U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) introduced legislation with Senator Chris Coons (D-DE) and a group of Senators to significantly expand national service programs as New Hampshire and the United States work to respond to and recover from COVID-19. The Pandemic Response and Opportunity Through National Service Act would fund 750,000 national service positions over a three-year response and recovery period, in part to meet the projected need for as many as 300,000 public health workers.

Under the bill, the number of AmeriCorps and national service positions could expand from 75,000 to 150,000 the first year and double to 300,000 in years two and three. The bill would also expand partnerships between AmeriCorps and federal health agencies and increase the AmeriCorps living allowance to ensure all Americans can step up to serve regardless of their financial circumstances.

“During times of national crisis, Americans have never hesitated to step up and give back,” said Senator Shaheen. “The COVID-19 pandemic is no exception, and by expanding national service programs like AmeriCorps with America’s best and brightest, we can boost our immediate response to this public health emergency and support our recovery through the skills and experiences these young volunteers will gain. I’m proud to join my colleagues in cosponsoring this important bill and urge its inclusion in upcoming COVID-19 relief legislation.”

Shaheen and Coons were joined on the legislation by Senators Angus King (I-ME), Tina Smith (D-MN), Tom Udall (D-NM), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), and Mazie Hirono (D-HI). Bipartisan companion legislation was introduced in the House. 

Text of the legislation is available here.