Blog Posts

House Passes the Generations Invigorating Volunteerism and Education (GIVE) Act

March 18, 2009

President Obama called on Congress to create new opportunities for Americans to build a stronger country by helping students perform better in school, prepare Americans for green and innovative 21st century jobs, rebuild cities in times of disaster, improve communities and much, much more. This afternoon the House passed the Generations Invigorating Volunteerism and Education (GIVE) Act, H.R. 1388 – legislation that answers his call. The GIVE Act launches a new era of service that will give Americans of all ages an opportunity to invest through service in our nation’s recovery. With our public needs intensifying in this recession, there's no better time to support and energize community service and volunteerism to help our country get through this economic crisis, restore confidence and prepare our nation for the future.

Learn more about the GIVE Act>>

Read Speaker Pelosi’s remarks in support of the GIVE Act>>

Chairman George Miller (D-CA):

Chairman Miller:
“Today we consider legislation that is vital to the spirit of America and the future. A few weeks ago President Obama called on Congress to quickly deliver legislation that will launch a new era of American service. Today, the house will answer that call. The GIVE act will help our country get through these crises and recognize its service is a deeply ingrained and deeply valued American trait.”

Rep. Carolyn McCarthy (D-NY):

Rep. McCarthy:
“Last month, Obama stood in this chamber and called on Congress to pass legislation to inspire a new generation of service and volunteers in our nation. Serving our fellow citizens for the sake of service itself has become a hallmark of who we are as Americans. Beginning with President Roosevelt’s Conservation Corps continuing to President Kennedy’s Peace Corps, we have shown that Americans respond when they are needed.”

Rep. John Sarbanes (D-MD):

Rep. Sarbanes:
“The unemployment rate for returning veterans is as high as 18%. We can give them the training and the opportunity to become engaged and re-engaged in our communities through service corps programs like Vet Corps and I’m so very pleased that’s part of this opportunity here.”

Rep. John Lewis (D-GA):

Rep. Lewis:
“Americans are having to choose between paying their mortgages and putting food on the table. In these tough times it is more important than ever that we as American citizens give back to those in need. National service becomes ever more important when people are hurting, when people are in need.”

Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-CT):

Rep. DeLauro:
“For generations during times of great crisis, Americans have stepped up and served their country and their communities. Today with soaring unemployment, rising costs, and a financial system turned upside-down, we face one of those moments. When the National Community Service Act was enacted in 1990, we saw powerful new opportunities to inspire civic engagement, to transform our country, and today the Generations Invigorating Volunteerism and Education Act, yes, the GIVE Act, renews and enhances these opportunities by providing Americans of all ages — from middle schoolers to baby boomers the chance to reach their full potential as engaged and active members of their community.”