Since the Peace Corps was created by President 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.
Congressman Mark Walker (R-North Carolina) 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 reputation.
Congressman David McKinley (First District, West Virginia) voted with 40% of his fellow Republicans to defeat this amendment. Our other Representatives, Carol Miller (West Virginia Third District) and Alex Mooney (West Virginia Second District), voted to eliminate the Peace Corps totally in 2020.
On behalf of the Peace Corps community in West Virginia, I want to thank Mr. McKinley for his support when we needed him.
Scott King, president
WV Returned Peace