The U.S. House of Representatives today passed a major overhaul and expansion of national service.
The House passed H.R. 1388, the Generations Invigorating Volunteerism and Education (GIVE) Act bill by strong bipartisan vote of 321 to 105. According to Alan Khazei, the founder of the Service Nation movement, this represents a 75% super-majority and broad bi-partisan support.
The vote came after a floor discussion where both Democratic and Republican Members of Congress cited numerous examples of volunteers and national service participants helping Americans in need through mentoring at-risk youth, building homes, teaching in under-served schools, caring for veterans and seniors, and helping survivors of Hurricane Katrina and other disasters.
According to Voices for National Service, here are some amendments to the legislation:
Amendment offered by Rep. Hill (D-IN) to make sending care packages to soldiers deployed in combat zones overseas an eligible service program.
Amendment offered by Rep. Hunter (R-CA) to remove veteran’s educational benefits from being taken into account when calculating the maximum award an individual could receive for participating in one of the national service programs.
Amendment offered by Rep. Kilroy (D-OH) to make the supervision of in- and out-of- school physical education classes and nutrition education eligible service activities, in addition to providing elderly people with food delivery, legal and medical services and transportation assistance.
Amendment offered by Rep. Loebsack (D-IA) to authorize a new grant program, the Volunteer Generation Fund.
Amendment offered by Rep. Markey (D-CO) to increase the operational support provided to Education Award Only programs.
Amendment offered by Rep. Perriello (D-VA) and Rep. Titus (D-NV) to create a National Service Reserve Corps to engage national service alumni in national disaster and other emergency response.
Amendment offered by Rep. Pingree (D-ME) to expand the Clean Energy Corps to meet the needs of rural communities.
Amendment offered by Rep. Roskam (R-IL) to authorize annual evaluation of the National Civilian and Community Corps.
Amendment offered by Rep. Teague (D-NM) and Rep. Klein (D-FL) to expand service activities to include assistance to veterans in education or career services, medical claims, or transportation needs.
An amendment offered by Rep. Roe (R-TN) to roll back funding for AmeriCorps to fiscal year 2008 levels was defeated.