Peace Corps Seeks Boost
President Clinton last weekend said he wants Congress to expand the Peace Corps from 6,500 volunteers to 10,000 volunteers by the year 2000. Clinton will ask Congress for a 21 percent increase to the Peace Corps budget.
In his first radio address of the year, Clinton said his proposed $48 million bump to the agency's $222 million budget in fiscal 1999 would be the largest increase since the 1960s.
"Strengthening the Peace Corps, giving more Americans opportunities to serve in humanity's cause is both an opportunity and an obligation we should seize in 1998," Clinton said.
Peace Corps Director Mark Gearan said more than 150,000 people contacted the Peace Corps last year about volunteering, a 40 percent increase over 1994.
"The popular perception about Generation X--that young people are slackers with little motivation--is a myth," Gearan said. "Every day we see more and more young Americans who want to volunteer and make a difference in the lives of other people."
Six members of Congress served in the Peace Corps, and Sen. Paul Coverdell, R-Ga., is a former director of the agency. Health and Human Services Secretary Donna Shalala also volunteered, serving in Iran from 1962 to 1964.