Washington, D.C.  - Today, U.S. Senators Rob Portman (R-Ohio) and Mark Udall (D-CO) introduced bipartisan legislation to allow the Peace Corps Commemorative Foundation to use federal land in Washington, D.C. to build a memorial to commemorate the mission of the Peace Corps.  This bipartisan legislation, which passed the Senate by Unanimous Consent in the 112th Congress with 22 cosponsors, involves no public funding.  

“For over 50 years, the Peace Corps has served as a powerful vehicle for volunteers who wish to use their talents to carry America’s humanitarian values to other parts of the world,” said Portman.  “This bill will honor those Americans who have donated their time and talent to serving others.”

“Coloradans have made substantial contributions to the Peace Corps since the organization’s founding, from laying the groundwork to creating the Peace Corps in the 1960s, to the many volunteers who go abroad every year.  In fact, the University of Colorado-Boulder sends more volunteers to the Peace Corps than any other university in the country," said Udall, whose mother was a Peace Corps volunteer in Nepal.  “The Peace Corps reflects the spirit of public service and global engagement that help us, in the words of JFK, to 'move the world down the road to peace,' and we recognize the outstanding work volunteers do every day around the globe."

“Given that both chambers of Congress are now on record having given unanimous approval to the commemorative legislation, we are hopeful final passage can be secured this year," said National Peace Corps Association Advocacy Director Jonathan Pearson.  “We are very grateful for the support Senators Portman and Udall have provided, and are hopeful their continued leadership will help bring a Peace Corps Commemorative from concept to reality."

This proposal is in full compliance with the Commemorative Works Act which governs its creation, and the National Park Service has testified in support of this legislation.  

Section 1 (c) of the legislation clearly states that “Federal funds may not be used to pay any expense of the establishment of the commemorative work.” It is critical to advance this legislation now in order to build on the momentum from the celebration of the 50th anniversary of the founding of the Peace Corps and begin the necessary private fundraising that will allow the commemorative memorial to move from concept to reality.