Senate Passes Portman, Shaheen Bipartisan Legislation to Reauthorize Peace Corps Commemorative Project

December 21, 2020 | Press Releases

WASHINGTON, DC - Today, U.S. Senators Rob Portman (R-OH) and Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) applauded the U.S. Senate for passing their bipartisan legislation to reauthorize the Peace Corps Commemorative project. Representatives Joe Kennedy III (D-MA) and Garret Graves (R-LA) led the legislation in the House. In 2014, Senators Portman and Shaheens’s and Rep. Kennedy’s bipartisan Peace Corps Commemorative Act was signed into law to create a commemorative memorial in Washington, D.C.’s National Capital Area to celebrate the mission of the Peace Corps and the ideals on which the Peace Corps was founded. This bipartisan legislation designated the Peace Corps Commemorative Foundation as the lead nonfederal sponsor for the project, and prohibits the use of federal funding. The current authorization for the project is set to expire in January 2021. This legislation would extend the authorization for the project for an additional seven years, to January 2028, in order for the project to secure the necessary design approvals and raise the funding for construction. The legislation now heads to the president’s desk to be signed into law.  

“For more than 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.  “By reauthorizing this project, we can ensure the Peace Corps Commemorative Foundation can finish this important project and honor those Americans who have donated their time and talent to serving others. I am pleased my colleagues in the Senate passed this important legislation so that it will now be sent to the president’s desk." 

“Peace Corps volunteers provide an invaluable diplomatic service to America, serving in over 60 countries as envoys of our nation’s democratic values and priorities. These volunteers work to improve the lives of countless individuals and communities around the world,” said Shaheen. “New Hampshire volunteers are among the more than 240,000 Americans who have provided health, education and economic development opportunities wherever they have served for nearly six decades. I appreciate the overwhelming bipartisan support for our legislation in both the House and Senate, which speaks to the importance of our effort to honor these remarkable men and women. I urge President Trump to swiftly follow suit and sign this bill into law."

“The seven-year Peace Corps Commemorative authorization extension, passed unanimously by the Senate and the House, will enable continuation of Peace Corps Commemorative Foundation efforts to design, fund and build this national, historically significant project,” said Roger K. Lewis, President of the Peace Corps Commemorative Foundation (PCCF). “The Foundation and all Americans who have served and worked for the Peace Corps, or who share Peace Corps ideals and values, deeply appreciate the unanimous Senate and House support and are especially grateful for the unflagging commitment of our legislative sponsors and their diligent staff members.”

“Passage of the Peace Corps Commemorative Work Extension Act is wonderful news and we are grateful to Senator Portman, Senator Shaheen and other congressional leaders who made sure this would happen,” said National Peace Corps Association President Glenn Blumhorst. “The tremendous work of the Peace Corps Commemorative Foundation will now be able to continue without interruption, and we look forward to continued progress leading to groundbreaking.”