WASHINGTON, D.C. - Senator Barbara A. Mikulski (D-Md.) today announced that the Emergency Supplemental spending bill, which the Senate Appropriations Committee passed on April 4th, contains $20 million for the AmeriCorps National Civilian Community Corps (NCCC) program to support volunteer hurricane recovery activities on the Gulf Coast and in other affected areas. Funding will be used to continue the work of AmeriCorps members who are providing vital disaster relief and recovery services in the Gulf region. President Bush's FY 2007 budget would completely eliminate the NCCC and close its five campuses, including one in Perry Point, Md.
"This funding demonstrates the Senate's commitment to keeping this valuable program alive, despite President Bush's efforts to cut the federal funds it needs to survive. Today's federal investment, like these fine volunteers, are needed now more than ever," said Senator Mikulski. "I will do everything I can to work with my Senate colleagues to make sure these funds are approved as a part of this emergency spending package."
The NCCC is a full-time residential program for 18 to 24 year olds designed to strengthen communities and develop leaders through team-based service projects. Each year, approximately 1,100 participants reside in its five campuses nationwide. The Perry Point campus houses 200 AmeriCorps members every year, and since 1994 its residents have logged more than 350,000 service hours.
NCCC teams are well trained and deployed throughout the country to build homes, clear thousands of acres of burned trees created by wildfires, and tutor children. Most recently, they have provided more than 250,000 service hours valued at $3.8 million to projects in the Gulf Coast region, which reflects their critical service during every American natural disaster since the program started.
Since 1989, Senator Mikulski has been a leader in the creation of AmeriCorps, introducing the National and Community Service Act to establish the Corporation for National and Community Service to oversee and coordinate our national volunteer efforts and to create a demonstration program that has evolved into what we know today as AmeriCorps.
Senator Mikulski is a member of the Appropriations Committee and the senior Democrat on the Commerce, Justice, Science Subcommittee.