July 17, 2003 - US Congress Thomas Web Site: Copy of HR150 in the Peace Corps Library
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July 17, 2003 - US Congress Thomas Web Site: Copy of HR150 in the Peace Corps Library
Copy of HR150 in the Peace Corps Library
Read and comment on this copy of the bill just posted on the Thomas Congressional Web Site of the Peace Corps legislation passed July 15 by the House of Representatives. The original has been archived in the Peace Corps Library at:
* This link was active on the date it was posted. PCOL is not responsible for broken links which may have changed.
Millennium Challenge Account, Peace Corps Expansion, and Foreign Relations Authorization Act of 2003 (Engrossed as Agreed to or Passed by House)
DIVISION B--REAUTHORIZATION AND EXPANSION OF THE PEACE CORPS
TITLE X--GENERAL PROVISIONS
SEC. 1001. SHORT TITLE.
This division may be cited as the `Peace Corps Expansion Act of 2003'.
SEC. 1002. DEFINITIONS.
In this division:
(1) APPROPRIATE CONGRESSIONAL COMMITTEES- The term `appropriate congressional committees' means the Committee on International Relations of the House of Representatives and the Committee on Foreign Relations of the Senate.
(2) DIRECTOR- The term `Director' means the Director of the Peace Corps.
(3) HOST COUNTRY- The term `host country' means a country whose government has invited the Peace Corps to establish a Peace Corps program within the territory of the country.
(4) PEACE CORPS VOLUNTEER- The term `Peace Corps volunteer' means a volunteer or a volunteer leader under the Peace Corps Act.
(5) RETURNED PEACE CORPS VOLUNTEER- The term `returned Peace Corps volunteer' means a person who has been certified by the Director as having served satisfactorily as a Peace Corps volunteer.
SEC. 1003. FINDINGS.
Congress makes the following findings:
(1) The Peace Corps was established in 1961 to promote world peace and friendship through the service abroad of volunteers who are United States citizens. The spirit of service and commitment to helping others is a fundamental component of democracy.
(2) Since its establishment, more than 168,000 volunteers have served in the Peace Corps in 136 countries throughout the world.
(3) The three goals codified in the Peace Corps Act which have guided the Peace Corps and its volunteers over the years, can work in concert to promote global acceptance of the principles of international peace and nonviolent coexistence among peoples of diverse cultures and systems of government.
(4) The Peace Corps has sought to fulfill three goals--to help people in developing countries meet basic needs, promote understanding abroad of the values and ideals of the United States, and promote an understanding of other peoples by the people of the United States.
(5) After more than 40 years of operation, the Peace Corps remains the world's premier international service organization dedicated to promoting grassroots development by working with families and communities to improve health care for children, expand agricultural production, teach in schools, fight infectious diseases, protect the environment, and initiate small business opportunities.
(6) The Peace Corps remains committed to sending well trained and well supported Peace Corps volunteers overseas to promote international peace, cross-cultural awareness, and mutual understanding between the United States and other countries.
(7) The Peace Corps is an independent agency, and, therefore, no Peace Corps personnel or volunteers should be used to accomplish any goal other than the goals established by the Peace Corps Act.
(8) The Crisis Corps has been an effective tool in harnessing the skills and talents of returned Peace Corps volunteers and should be expanded, to the maximum extent practicable, to utilize the talent of returned Peace Corps volunteers.
(9) In fiscal year 2003, the Peace Corps is operating with an annual budget of $295,000,000 in 70 countries, with more than 7,000 Peace Corps volunteers.
(10) There is deep misunderstanding and misinformation in many parts of the world, particularly in countries with substantial Muslim populations, with respect to United States values and ideals. A new or expanded Peace Corps presence in such places could foster better understanding between the people of the United States and such countries.
(11) Congress has declared, and the Peace Corps Act provides, that the Peace Corps shall maintain, to the maximum extent practicable and appropriate, a volunteer corps of at least 10,000 individuals.
(12) President George W. Bush has called for the doubling of the number of Peace Corps volunteers in service.
(13) Any expansion of the Peace Corps should not jeopardize the quality of the Peace Corps volunteer experience and, therefore, necessitates, among other things, an appropriate increase in field and headquarters support staff.
(14) In order to ensure that the proposed expansion of the Peace Corps preserves the integrity of the program and the security of volunteers, the integrated Planning and Budget System supported by the Office of Planning and Policy Analysis should continue its focus on strategic planning.
(15) A streamlined, bipartisan Peace Corps National Advisory Council composed of distinguished returned Peace Corps volunteers, former Peace Corps staff, and other individuals with diverse backgrounds and expertise can be a source of ideas and suggestions that may be useful to the Director of the Peace Corps as the Director discharges the duties and responsibilities as head of the agency.
TITLE XI--AMENDMENTS TO PEACE CORPS ACT; RELATED PROVISIONS
SEC. 1101. ADVANCING THE GOALS OF THE PEACE CORPS.
(a) RECRUITMENT OF VOLUNTEERS- Section 2A of the Peace Corps Act (22 U.S.C. 2501-1) is amended by adding at the end the following new sentence: `As an independent agency, the Peace Corps shall be responsible for recruiting all of its volunteers.'.
(b) DETAILS AND ASSIGNMENTS- Section 5(g) of the Peace Corps Act (22 U.S.C. 2504(g)) is amended by striking `Provided, That' and inserting `Provided, That such detail or assignment furthers the fulfillment of Peace Corps' development and public diplomacy goals as described in section 2: Provided further, That'.
SEC. 1102. REPORTS AND CONSULTATIONS.
(a) ANNUAL REPORTS; CONSULTATIONS ON NEW INITIATIVES- Section 11 of the Peace Corps Act (22 U.S.C. 2510) is amended by striking the section heading and the text of section 11 and inserting the following:
`SEC. 11. ANNUAL REPORTS; CONSULTATIONS ON NEW INITIATIVES.
`(a) ANNUAL REPORTS- The Director shall transmit to Congress, at least once in each fiscal year, a report on operations under this Act. Each report shall contain information--
`(1) describing efforts undertaken to improve coordination of activities of the Peace Corps with activities of international voluntary service organizations, such as the United Nations volunteer program, and of host country voluntary service organizations, including--
`(A) a description of the purpose and scope of any development project which the Peace Corps undertook during the preceding fiscal year as a joint venture with any such international or host country voluntary service organizations; and
`(B) recommendations for improving coordination of development projects between the Peace Corps and any such international or host country voluntary service organizations;
`(A) any major new initiatives that the Peace Corps has under review for the upcoming fiscal year, and any major initiatives that were undertaken in the previous fiscal year that were not included in prior reports to the Congress;
`(B) the rationale for undertaking such new initiatives;
`(C) an estimate of the cost of such initiatives; and
`(D) the impact on the safety of volunteers;
`(3) describing in detail the Peace Corps plans, including budgetary plans, to have 14,000 volunteers in service by 2007 while maintaining the quality of the volunteer experience, ensuring the safety and security of all volunteers, and providing for appropriate administrative and other support; and
`(4) describing standard security procedures for any country in which the Peace Corps operates programs or is considering doing so, as well as any special security procedures contemplated because of changed circumstances in specific countries, and assessing whether security conditions would be enhanced--
`(A) by co-locating volunteers with international or local nongovernmental organizations; or
`(B) with the placement of multiple volunteers in one location.
`(b) CONSULTATIONS ON NEW INITIATIVES- The Director of the Peace Corps shall consult with the appropriate congressional committees with respect to any major new initiatives not previously discussed in the latest annual report submitted to Congress under subsection (a) or in budget presentations. Whenever possible, such consultations should take place prior to the initiation of such initiatives, or as soon as practicable thereafter.'.
(b) ONE-TIME REPORT ON STUDENT LOAN FORGIVENESS PROGRAMS- Not later than 30 days after the date of enactment of this Act, the Director shall submit to the appropriate congressional committees a report--
(1) describing the student loan forgiveness programs currently available to Peace Corps volunteers upon completion of their service;
(2) comparing such programs with other Government-sponsored student loan forgiveness programs; and
(3) recommending any additional student loan forgiveness programs which could attract more applications from low- and middle-income individuals who are carrying considerable student-loan debt burdens.
(c) ANNUAL REPORT TO CONGRESS ON THE FEDERAL EQUAL OPPORTUNITY RECRUITMENT PROGRAM (FEORP)- Not later than 90 days after the date of enactment of this Act and annually thereafter, the Director shall report on the progress of the Peace Corps in recruiting historically underrepresented groups. The Director shall prepare this report in accordance with section 7201 of title 5, United States Code, and subpart B of part 720 of title 5, Code of Federal Regulations.
(d) REPORT ON MAINTAINING THE INTEGRITY OF THE MEDICAL SCREENING AND MEDICAL PLACEMENT COORDINATION PROCESSES- Not later than 120 days after the date of enactment of this Act, the Director shall prepare and submit to the appropriate congressional committees a report that--
(1) describes the medical screening procedures and standards of the Office of Medical Services/Screening Unit of the Peace Corps to determine whether an applicant for Peace Corps service has worldwide clearance, limited clearance, a deferral period, or is not medically, including psychologically, qualified to serve in the Peace Corps as a volunteer;
(2) describes the procedures and criteria for matching applicants for Peace Corps service with a host country to ensure that the applicant, reasonable accommodations notwithstanding, can complete at least two years of volunteer service without interruption to host country national projects due to foreseeable medical conditions; and
(3) with respect to each of fiscal years 2000 through 2002 and the first six months of fiscal year 2003, states the number of--
(A) medical screenings conducted;
(B) applicants who have received worldwide clearance, limited clearance, deferral periods, and medical disqualifications to serve;
(C) Peace Corps volunteers who the agency has had to separate from service due to the discovery of undisclosed medical information; and
(D) Peace Corps volunteers who have terminated their service early due to medical, including psychological, reasons.
SEC. 1103. SPECIAL VOLUNTEER RECRUITMENT AND PLACEMENT FOR CERTAIN COUNTRIES.
(a) REPORT- Not later than 60 days after the date of enactment of this Act, the Director shall submit to the appropriate congressional committees a report that--
(1) describes the recruitment strategies to be employed by the Peace Corps to recruit and train volunteers with the appropriate language skills and interest in serving in host countries; and
(2) lists the countries that the Director has determined should be priorities for special recruitment and placement of Peace Corps volunteers.
(b) USE OF RETURNED PEACE CORPS VOLUNTEERS AND FORMER STAFF- The Director is authorized and strongly urged to utilize the services of returned Peace Corps volunteers and former Peace Corps staff who have relevant language and cultural experience and may have served previously in countries with substantial Muslim populations, in order to open or reopen Peace Corps programs in such countries.
SEC. 1104. GLOBAL INFECTIOUS DISEASES INITIATIVE; COORDINATION OF HIV/AIDS ACTIVITIES.
(1) IN GENERAL- The Director, in cooperation with international public health experts, such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the National Institutes of Health, the World Health Organization, the Pan American Health Organization, and local public health officials, shall expand the Peace Corps' program of training for Peace Corps volunteers in the areas of education, prevention, and treatment of infectious diseases which are prevalent in host countries in order to ensure that the Peace Corps increases its contribution to the global campaign against such diseases.
(2) ADDITIONAL REQUIREMENT- Activities for the education, prevention, and treatment of infectious diseases in host countries by the Peace Corps shall be undertaken in a manner that is consistent with activities authorized under sections 104(c), 104A, 104B, and 104C of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961.
(b) COORDINATION OF HIV/AIDS ACTIVITIES-
(1) IN GENERAL- The Director should designate an officer or employee of the Peace Corps who is located in the United States to coordinate all HIV/AIDS activities within the Peace Corps. Such individual may be an individual who is an officer or employee of the Peace Corps on the date of the enactment of this Act.
(2) FIELD COORDINATION- In addition to the position established under paragraph (1), the Director should designate an individual within each country in sub-Saharan Africa, the Western Hemisphere, and Asia in which Peace Corps volunteers carry out HIV/AIDS activities to coordinate all such activities of the Peace Corps in such countries.
(c) DEFINITIONS- In this section:
(1) AIDS- The term `AIDS' means the acquired immune deficiency syndrome.
(2) HIV- The term `HIV' means the human immunodeficiency virus, the pathogen that causes AIDS.
(3) HIV/AIDS- The term `HIV/AIDS' means, with respect to an individual, an individual who is infected with HIV or living with AIDS.
(4) INFECTIOUS DISEASES- The term `infectious diseases' means HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria.
SEC. 1105. PEACE CORPS NATIONAL ADVISORY COUNCIL.
Section 12 of the Peace Corps Act (22 U.S.C. 2511; relating to the Peace Corps National Advisory Council) is amended--
(1) in subsection (b)(2)--
(A) in subparagraph (C), by striking `and' after the semicolon;
(B) by redesignating subparagraph (D) as subparagraph (E); and
(C) by inserting after subparagraph (C) the following:
`(D) make recommendations for utilizing the expertise of returned Peace Corps volunteers and former Peace Corps staff in fulfilling the goals of the Peace Corps; and';
(2) in subsection (c)(2)--
(A) in subparagraph (A)--
(i) in the first sentence--
(I) by striking `fifteen' and inserting `eleven'; and
(II) by striking `President, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate' and inserting `Director of the Peace Corps';
(ii) by striking the second sentence and inserting the following: `Six of the members shall be former Peace Corps volunteers, at least one of whom shall have been a former staff member abroad or in the Washington headquarters, and not more than six shall be members of the same political party.';
(B) by striking subparagraph (B);
(C) by amending subparagraph (D) to read as follows:
`(D) The members of the Council shall be appointed to 2-year terms.';
(D) in subparagraph (H), by striking `nine' and inserting `seven';
(E) in subparagraph (I), by striking `President shall nominate' and inserting `Director shall appoint'; and
(F) by redesignating subparagraphs (C), (D), (E), (F), (G), (H), and (I) as subparagraphs (B), (C), (D), (E), (F), (G), and (H), respectively; and
(3) by amending subsection (g) to read as follows:
`(g) CHAIR- The Director shall designate one of the voting members of the Council as Chair, who shall serve in that capacity for a term of two years. The Director may renew the term of a voting member appointed as Chair under the preceding sentence.'.
SEC. 1106. READJUSTMENT ALLOWANCES.
The Peace Corps Act is amended--
(1) in section 5(c) (22 U.S.C. 2504(c)), by striking `$125 for each month of satisfactory service' and inserting `$275 for each month of satisfactory service during fiscal year 2004 and $300 for each month of satisfactory service thereafter'; and
(2) in section 6(1) (22 U.S.C. 2505(1)), by striking `$125 for each month of satisfactory service' and inserting `$275 for each month of satisfactory service during fiscal year 2004 and $300 for each month of satisfactory service thereafter'.
SEC. 1107. PROGRAMS AND PROJECTS OF RETURNED PEACE CORPS VOLUNTEERS AND FORMER STAFF.
(a) PURPOSE- The purpose of this section is to provide support for returned Peace Corps volunteers to develop and carry out programs and projects to promote the objectives of the Peace Corps Act, as set forth in section 2(a) of that Act (22 U.S.C. 2501(a)).
(b) GRANTS TO CERTAIN NONPROFIT CORPORATIONS-
(1) GRANT AUTHORITY-
(A) IN GENERAL- To carry out the purpose of this section, and subject to the availability of appropriations, the Director may award grants on a competitive basis to private nonprofit corporations for the purpose of enabling returned Peace Corps volunteers to use their knowledge and expertise to develop and carry out the programs and projects described in paragraph (2).
(B) DELEGATION OF AUTHORITY AND TRANSFER OF FUNDS- The Director may delegate the authority to award grants under subparagraph (A) and may transfer funds authorized under this section subject to the notification procedures of section 634A of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 to the Chief Executive Officer of the Corporation for National and Community Service (referred to in this section as the `Corporation').
Millennium Challenge Account, Peace Corps Expansion, and Foreign Relations Authorization Act of 2003 (Engrossed as Agreed to or Passed by House)
(2) PROGRAMS AND PROJECTS- Such programs and projects may include--
(A) educational programs designed to enrich the knowledge and interest of elementary school and secondary school students in the geography and cultures of other countries where the volunteers have served;
(B) projects that involve partnerships with local libraries to enhance community knowledge about other peoples and countries; and
(C) audio-visual projects that utilize materials collected by the volunteers during their service that would be of educational value to communities.
(3) ELIGIBILITY FOR GRANTS- To be eligible to compete for grants under this section, a nonprofit corporation shall have a board of directors composed of returned Peace Corps volunteers and former Peace Corps staff with a background in community service, education, or health. If the grants are made by the Corporation, the nonprofit corporation shall meet all appropriate Corporation management requirements, as determined by the Corporation.
(c) GRANT REQUIREMENTS- Such grants shall be made pursuant to a grant agreement between the Peace Corps or the Corporation and the nonprofit corporation that requires that--
(1) the grant funds will only be used to support programs and projects described in subsection (a) pursuant to proposals submitted by returned Peace Corps volunteers (either individually or cooperatively with other returned volunteers);
(2) the nonprofit corporation will give consideration to funding individual programs or projects by returned Peace Corps volunteers, in amounts of not more than $50,000, under this section;
(3) not more than 20 percent of the grant funds made available to the nonprofit corporation will be used for the salaries, overhead, or other administrative expenses of the nonprofit corporation;
(4) the nonprofit corporation will not receive grant funds for programs or projects under this section for a third or subsequent year unless the nonprofit corporation makes available, to carry out the programs or projects during that year, non-Federal contributions--
(A) in an amount not less than $2 for every $3 of Federal funds provided through the grant; and
(B) provided directly or through donations from private entities, in cash or in kind, fairly evaluated, including plant, equipment, or services; and
(5) the nonprofit corporation shall manage, monitor, and submit reports to the Peace Corps or the Corporation, as the case may be, on each program or project for which the nonprofit corporation receives a grant under this section.
(d) STATUS OF THE FUND- Nothing in this section shall be construed to make any nonprofit corporation supported under this section an agency or establishment of the Federal Government or to make the members of the board of directors or any officer or employee of such nonprofit corporation an officer or employee of the United States.
(e) FACTORS IN AWARDING GRANTS- In determining the number of nonprofit corporations to receive grants under this section for any fiscal year, the Peace Corps or the Corporation--
(1) shall take into consideration the need to minimize overhead costs that direct resources from the funding of programs and projects; and
(2) shall seek to ensure a broad geographical distribution of grants for programs and projects under this section.
(f) CONGRESSIONAL OVERSIGHT- Grant recipients under this section shall be subject to the appropriate oversight procedures of Congress.
(1) IN GENERAL- There is authorized to be appropriated to carry out this section up to $10,000,000. Such sum shall be in addition to funds made available to the Peace Corps under this division.
(2) AVAILABILITY- Amounts appropriated pursuant to paragraph (1) are authorized to remain available until expended.
(h) CRISIS CORPS-
(1) STATEMENT OF POLICY- Congress states that the Crisis Corps has been an effective tool in harnessing the skills and talents of returned Peace Corps volunteers.
(2) INCREASE IN NUMBER OF CRISIS CORPS ASSIGNMENTS- The Director, in consultation with the governments of host countries and appropriate nongovernmental organizations, shall increase the number of available Crisis Corps assignments for returned Peace Corps volunteers to at least 120 assignments in fiscal year 2004, 140 assignments in fiscal year 2005, 160 assignments in fiscal year 2006, and 165 assignments in fiscal year 2007.
SEC. 1108. DECLARATION OF POLICY.
Congress declares its support for the goal announced by President Bush of doubling the number of Peace Corps volunteers to 14,000 by 2007 and supports the funding levels necessary to accomplish this growth.
SEC. 1109. PEACE CORPS IN SIERRA LEONE.
(a) FINDINGS- Congress makes the following findings:
(1) Peace Corps service to Sierra Leone was suspended in 1994 due to a brutal civil war between the government and the Revolutionary United Front (RUF).
(2) Backed by British military intervention and a United Nations peacekeeping operation, government authority has been reestablished throughout the country and `free and fair' national elections took place in May 2002.
(3) Sierra Leone is a majority Muslim country.
(4) The Peace Corps has given the safety and security of its volunteers high priority.
(b) SENSE OF CONGRESS- It is the sense of Congress that the Peace Corps should return its program to Sierra Leone as soon as security conditions are consistent with the safety and security of its volunteers.
SEC. 1110. AUTHORIZATION OF APPROPRIATIONS.
Section 3(b)(1) of the Peace Corps Act (22 U.S.C. 2502(b)(1)) is amended by striking `and $365,000,000 fiscal year 2003' and inserting `$365,000,000 for fiscal year 2003, $366,868,000 for fiscal year 2004, $411,800,000 for fiscal year 2005, $455,930,000 for fiscal year 2006, and $499,400,000 for fiscal year 2007'.
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