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LETTER: Congress needs to properly fund the Peace Corps

Gary Martin’s May 28 article (“Biden proposes $6 trillion U.S. budget”), which provided a strong overview into many line items important to Nevadans, didn’t mention the Peace Corps. This program matters especially to nearly 1,100 Nevadan returned Peace Corps volunteers. That includes me, an evacuated Mongolia volunteer whose service was suspended in March 2020 due to the pandemic.

President Joe Biden’s modest request of $410 million for the Peace Corps would mark seven consecutive years of flat funding. While $4 billion is set to come to Nevada through the COVID-19 rescue package, a cost-effective and key initiative for redeployed Peace Corps volunteers is to assist host communities in combating the pandemic. Ensuring our public health here at home also requires global engagement to address present and future pandemics abroad.

Members of Nevada’s congressional delegation understand the need. We thank Reps. Steven Horsford and Dina Titus for signing a House letter urging $450 million for the Peace Corps in fiscal 2022 and ask Rep. Susie Lee to support the Peace Corps as her work on the Appropriations Committee begins.

President Biden’s affirmation of Americans who “serve their nation and volunteer in their communities” characterizes the Peace Corps. And though more than a year has passed since I evacuated from Peace Corps service last spring, I intend to redeploy and serve my country next year. I hope the president and Congress will help make that happen.

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