In March 2009, the House & Senate overwhelmingly passed the “The Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act, an Act to reauthorize and reform the national service laws.” The bill was introduced by Senators Kennedy & Hatch and will cost an estimated $5.7 billion over 5 years.
Since when does “volunteering” cost billions of dollars? This is another example of our representatives in Washington thinking that nothing good will happen in this country unless they make it happen.
Some of the money will go toward expanding Americorps from 75,000 positions to 250,000. Americorps gives grants to individuals and organizations that engage in service. I did a lot of hours of volunteer service while attending Snow College. Someone told me about the Americorps service grants given to those who did a certain number of hours of community service. I did the math and it would have amounted to less than $3 per hour not counting all the paperwork I would’ve had to do. I chose not to participate in the program, YET I SOMEHOW CONTINUED TO DO COMMUNITY SERVICE ON MY OWN!
Senators Hatch and Bennett and Rep. Matheson voted in favor of the bill, Reps Bishop and Chaffetz against it.
Heritage Foundation calls the bill “The Death of Public Service”
New York Times Article
Deseret News Article
Sen. Hatch’s Statement
Last October, both Senators Hatch & Bennett voted for the $700 Billion TARP (Toxic Assets Relief Program) bill. The plan was for the Treasury to buy up as many of the “toxic” mortgage backed securities as they could, which was supposed to relieve the banks from the uncertainty of the bad assets and make it possible for them to start lending. It would transfer the risk of these bad mortgages from the banks to the taxpayers.
Well, after the legislation passed, Secretary Paulson decided to scrap that whole idea and do something entirely different. He had the power to do that because the legislation gave him the ability to do almost anything he wanted to with the $700,000,000,000. Senators Bennett and Hatch and Congressman Matheson gave him that power by voting yes. Kudos to Congressman Bishop for voting no.
SENATE VOTE and HOUSE VOTE