Senators Portman, Shaheen and Reps. Kennedy, Graves Introduce Bipartisan Legislation to Reauthorize Peace Corps Commemorative Project

July 1, 2020 | Press Releases

WASHINGTON, DC - Today, U.S. Senators Rob Portman (R-OH) and Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and Representatives Joe Kennedy III (D-MA) and Garret Graves (R-LA) introduced bipartisan legislation to reauthorize the Peace Corps Commemorative project. In 2014, Senator Portman’s and Rep. Kennedy’s bipartisan Peace Corps Commemorative Act was signed into law to create a commemorative 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 public funding. The current authorization for the project is set to expire in January 2021.  

Senators Portman and Shaheen and Reps. Kennedy and Graves’ 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. 

“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.” 

“The Peace Corps and its participants advance our nation’s interests and improve the lives of countless individuals around the globe,” said Shaheen.New Hampshire volunteers are among the more than 240,000 Americans who have provided health, education and economic development opportunities to the communities they serve since the agency’s establishment in 1961. I’m proud to join Senator Portman in introducing legislation to honor the works of these exceptional people and the lives they’ve changed.” 

“Thousands of Peace Corps volunteers spanning generations have served to build a kinder, stronger world,” said Kennedy. “Through the Peace Corps Commemorative Project, we can celebrate the volunteers who sacrificed in communities in every corner of the globe.” 

“The Peace Corps has been exporting American values for almost six decades, promoting her spirit and sowing seeds of freedom in nations across the world through its work-based service program,” said Graves, Co-chair of the Congressional Peace Corps Caucus. “Peace Corps volunteers – like the program itself – give more than they take and continue to deliver to taxpayers a compounded return on investment. This project highlights how they have made, and will continue making, the world a better place.”

“We applaud the Peace Corps Commemorative Foundation (PCCF) for the tremendous progress they have achieved in advancing the site selection and design phases for the planned Peace Corps commemorative," said National Peace Corps Association President and CEO Glenn Blumhorst. "The leadership and introduction of bipartisan, bicameral legislation by Senators Portman and Shaheen, and by Representatives Kennedy and Graves will ensure that the work of the PCCF will continue uninterrupted, leading to groundbreaking for the commemorative in the not-too-distant future.”

“The Peace Corps Commemorative Foundation and National Peace Corps Association applaud and very much appreciate the strong support of Congress ensuring continuation of the PCCF’s efforts in bringing to fruition this meaningful, national commemorative work,” said PCCF President Roger K. Lewis.