Peace Corps cuts aren't wise financially

Since the Peace Corps was created by President John F. Kennedy in a 1961 executive order, more than 240,000 volunteers have served in over 141 countries on five continents. More than 700 of them were from West Virginia. Approximately 400 of them still live in West Virginia.

Rep. Mark Walker, R-N.C., proposed an amendment to the 2020 State/Foreign Operations budget affecting 11 international programs, reducing the Peace Corps budget to $0.

Under the guise of balancing the budget, this would have ultimately increased federal spending. It takes more to shut down and reopen programs in 62 countries than to maintain existing programs. That does not even consider the harm that is done to education, health, and other host country programs that would be adversely affected, or the damage done to our national registration.

Rep. David McKinley. R-W.Va., voted with 40% of his fellow Republicans to defeat this amendment. Representatives Carol Miller and Alex Mooney, both R-W.Va., voted to eliminate Peace Corps totally in 2020.

Miller and Mooney are relatively new in their positions and as nonnative West Virginians it appears they have not yet understood the spirit of volunteerism that is part of the fabric that is West Virginia.

I hope we can expect better from them in the future.

Scott King

President

WV Returned Peace Corps Volunteers

Charleston

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