H.R.1388 - The Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act

To reauthorize and reform the national service laws. view all titles (15)

All Bill Titles

  • Short: Generations Invigorating Volunteerism and Education Act as introduced.
  • Popular: GIVE Act as introduced.
  • Short: Congressional Commission on Civic Service Act as introduced.
  • Official: To reauthorize and reform the national service laws. as introduced.
  • Short: GIVE Act as introduced.
  • Official: A bill entitled "The Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act, an Act to reauthorize and reform the national service laws." as amended by senate.
  • Short: Congressional Commission on Civic Service Act as reported to house.
  • Short: Generations Invigorating Volunteerism and Education Act as reported to house.
  • Short: GIVE Act as reported to house.
  • Short: Generations Invigorating Volunteerism and Education Act as passed house.
  • Short: GIVE Act as passed house.
  • Popular: The Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act as introduced.
  • Short: Serve America Act as passed senate.
  • Short: Serve America Act as enacted.
  • Official: A bill entitled "The Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act, an Act to reauthorize and reform the national service laws." as introduced.

Comments Feed

Displaying 181-210 of 469 total comments.

  • Comm_reply
    Seqoia32 03/22/2009 12:55pm
    Link Reply
    + -1

    Man, you need to loosen that tin-foil hat!

  • Nowabouthat 03/18/2009 10:35am

    With school this pay $3.16 an hour. I think it’s wrong to pay poverty wages to poverty programs.

  • ZAPEM 03/18/2009 10:43am

    The Obama-nuts think we’re all stupid. They come in here and lie about the bill, trying to make it sound sooooo wonderful, when it’s nothing but communism. They have 2 pages of facts why it’s unconstitutional. There has been no war declared. You can’t FORCE service unless there is, and then, you can’t draft underage children and senior citizens. This bill is laughable! Then they ask why you claim it’s socialism.

    Get a clue and a brain. We’re not that stupid. Go try to lend your spin to sell it elsewhere. We know why you’re here and what you’re up to. When you can’t even tell the truth and have to resort to lies, it stands to show exactly why this bill should and will never pass.

    Come 2010, it’s all over for you.

  • mpaone 03/18/2009 11:47am
    Link Reply
    + -1

    I’m confused by a number of things: 1) Why you don’t address me and speak in the third person, 2) Why you claim I called anyone stupid when I didn’t, 3) Why your response is so emotional, 4) Why you are slandering / name calling, and 5) Where you are getting your information about this Bill. I would really like to know number 5.

    As for everyone who says it will never pass and it is only supported by ‘Obama nuts’, please see: http://edlabor.house.gov/documents/111/pdf/markup/FC/HR1388-NationalService/rollcall1.pdf

    A good number of Republicans support this legislation on the Education Committee, including the ranking member, Buck McKeon. This legislation will be a win for those who want to work together, and leave behind partisanship, extremism, and negativity.

  • Comm_reply
    Lara1967 04/24/2009 1:11am

    the only good number of republicans who voted for this was 26… the rest of the republicans 149 voted against it.

    Stop lieing, you make yourself look like an idiot.

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  • LibertyRevolution 03/18/2009 12:04pm

    go watch what Rahm Emanual and Obama have said about needing Civilian Nationa Defense force

    term ‘youth engagement zone program’ means a serv10
    ice learning program in which members of an eligible
    partnership described in paragraph (4) collaborate to
    provide coordinated school-based or community-based
    service learning opportunities, to address a specific
    community challenge, for an increasing percentage of
    out-of-school youth and secondary school students
    served by local educational agencies where—
    ‘‘(A) not less than 90 percent of the students
    participate in service-learning activities as part
    of the program; or
    ‘‘(B) service-learning is a mandatory part
    of the curriculum in all of the secondary schools
    served by the local educational agency.

  • LibertyRevolution 03/18/2009 12:05pm

    Here are parts of the bill that advocate placing youth & Seniors in “Security” type service settings

    (iv) in subparagraph ©, by inserting
    after ‘‘senior citizens organizations,’’ the fol
    lowing: ‘‘offices of economic development,
    State employment security agencies, em
    ployment offices,’’;

    ‘‘(4) utilizing retired military and emergency
    professionals for programs to improve public safety,
    emergency and disaster preparedness, relief, and re
    covery, search and rescue, and homeland security ef

    ‘‘(13) Programs that strengthen community ef
    forts in support of homeland security.’’;

  • Comm_reply
    mpaone 03/18/2009 12:27pm
    Link Reply
    + -2

    I’m pretty sure the link they are making is between national security and economic prosperity. A weak economy, with a drastic wealth gap, creates a polarized and unstable country, susceptible foreign influences. Good examples of this are oil dependence and rising food prices. We are basically on our knees when it comes to foreign oil and we are producing things which most Americans are unable to afford. Our own divisions are doing ourselves in.

    Since these programs such as AmeriCorps seek to address poverty and strengthen the middle class, i.e. building stronger economy and American prosperity, they are viewed as “in support of homeland security.”

    That is the link between security and prosperity. An economically stable and indepedent nation is a secure one. And a secure nation, free from war costs and conflict, is a prosperous one.

  • deborahg6 03/18/2009 12:45pm

    mpaone~You certainly believe the best about government, I’ll give you that. I was going to write a description of socialism, but you beat me to it. Again, nice ideas, but in reality they do not work. The more dependent we become as a nation on Government, the poorer we will be. Programs such as AmeriCorps are not the answer. I could spend all day addressing examples but I’ll share what I am experiencing in my own life…oh, and the oil thing…don’t get me started! We do not have to be dependent, we have our own. The only people who will be stable and rich are Al Gore and everyone invested in his company…

  • deborahg6 03/18/2009 12:52pm

    I have an “at risk” teenager, one who is part of the target group of this particular bill. We have been struggling to help him for several years. He knows, from experience, that the laws do more to protect juveniles than hold them accountable. Current laws do not support parents, they put our kids in “diversion programs”, community service, and they pay a fine (most of the time parents pay it). My son is part of school system that does not hold him to high standards. He knows how to work the system. Now, in comes the govt. wanting to legislate money for service programs? Teachers in my state are being laid off. They will not arrest juveniles because of cost and lax laws. Throwing money and programs at the problems is not the answer. Let’s fix the laws already in place.

  • Comm_reply
    mpaone 03/18/2009 7:01pm
    Link Reply
    + -2

    I agree with you wholeheartedly about your prioritizing education and proper responsibility laws for juveniles. National service is definitely not meant to correct for these things. And you highlight something true, in dealing with young people, we have to look at the whole spectrum of development, from education, to work, to criminal laws and the prison system / rehabilitation, to service opportunities. Service and volunteering are no panacea. I have an older brother who went through similar of what you describe of your son, and he could have spent all day doing wonderful things in the community and it wouldn’t have helped him get over addiction. In honesty, he probably never would have gotten into a service program based on this. Service isn’t for everybody, and everyone is at different levels of development with different challenges. I would never offer it as a solution to fundamental problems like underfunded schools or a skewed legal system.

  • ZAPEM 03/18/2009 1:06pm

    This bill has no intention of being voluntary whatsoever. They double-talked you. Read this:

    From the Misc. section, #6104: (6) Whether a workable, fair, and reasonable mandatory service requirement for all able young people could be developed, and how such a requirement could be implemented in a manner that would strengthen the social fabric of the Nation and overcome civic challenges by bringing together people from diverse economic, ethnic, and educational backgrounds.


    More here: http://albanysinsanity.wnymedia.net/blogs/2009/03/14/obama-requires-you-to-serve-hr1388-the-give-act-to-reform-the-national-service-laws/

    And of course they don’t bother telling you how much YOU are going to be paying for this program whether you like it or not.

  • Comm_reply
    mpaone 03/18/2009 6:42pm
    Link Reply
    + -2

    Zapem, you are quoting a section which refers to a study which would be undertaken. Of course, it’s pretty plain as day that they are researching what it would be like to have a mandatory volunteer program.

    My own opinions on what this would look like aren’t fully formed. However, keep in mind:

    1) It’s only a study; 2) The study may show it to be either ineffective or too difficult to implement; 3) Even if results were positive, it would then have to be proposed through further legislation, which could be blocked; 4) Even if that legislation passed, it would probably be a nominal program, since most people do volunteer work at some point, which would probably count to the program.

  • Comm_reply
    ZAPEM 03/20/2009 4:04am
    Link Reply
    + -1

    Well mpaone, you’re obviously not a parent and you are not the majority of those parents who all said what I did and will protest this bill. There is nothing you’re going to say here that’s going to insult the intelligence of parents who have all said the government has no right to tell their children what to do.

    Go sign up if you love it so much. But staying here to cover up for the double-speak in this bill is showing us that you care nothing for the rights of parents. That’s your problem really, not mine.

  • Comm_reply
    rhino235 03/20/2009 5:14am

    mpaone, your argument is that this is ok because it authorizes only a study about a possible “mandatory volunteer program”. First off I would recommend looking up the word oxymoron. “Mandatory volunteer”, really??? Second, many of us find the concept of mandatory government service for our children to be extremely unethical and offensive. Forced service is equivalent to slavery and it completely undermines the value of actual volunteerism. To me it is a clause to study the feasibility of implementing a slavery program for the betterment of society. It wouldn’t matter at all even I believed it would have a positive effect on society, it’s still wrong. So that clause alone is enough for me to strongly oppose this socialist legislation.

  • Comm_reply
    Kaz 03/20/2009 4:46pm
    Link Reply
    + -1

    Agree rhino235.

    I personally believe that statement is in the bill as a means of easy transition. I also believe the “study” is merely buying them time to put together the immense logistical effort it will take to ensure all said children are catalogued and serve their time.

    The way the bill is written is a soft-sell of a very serious proposition.

  • Comm_reply
    mpaone 03/21/2009 2:40pm

    Just for the record, I find everyone’s comparisons between service and slavery just plain silly. I know you are making it for dramatic effect, but, for truth’s sake:

    1) Slavery is uncompensated, free labor; the service programs include educational awards
    2) Slavery is enforced through humiliation, force, and physical abuse; the service programs are incentivized opportunities for personal growth
    3) Slaves have no rights whatsoever; service members choose how they serve and reserve all their rights

    I would even say it’s actually kind of insulting that so many people are making this reference. It’s very absolutist and misleading.

  • Comm_reply
    FreedomNJ 03/23/2009 12:42pm
    Link Reply
    + -1

    MPAone said:"I would even say it’s actually kind of insulting that so many people are making this reference. It’s very absolutist and misleading. "

    No, this is well documented history that you are choosing to ignore and malign.

    1) Volunteer is unpaid, and not mandated.
    2) Requiring young people to submit to paid managers to earn tuition credits certainly creates perfect conditions for abuse.
    3) The bill limits the ways that people can serve. YOU are misleading.

  • Comm_reply
    FreedomNJ 03/23/2009 12:35pm
    Link Reply
    + -1

    OxyMoron: “Paid Volunteer”

  • Comm_reply
    mpaone 03/23/2009 7:01pm

    Couldn’t the same “oxymoron” be applied to military service?

    It’s voluntary. You get supported and compensated by the government.

  • Comm_reply
    FreedomNJ 03/24/2009 11:40am

    Google offers two definitions:
    (military) a person who freely enlists for service
    unpaid: without payment; “the soup kitchen was run primarily by unpaid helpers”; “a volunteer fire department”

    This bill confuses the two defintions, giving rise to the comparison to “Mandatory vs Volunteer” as opposed to “Paid vs Volunteer”.

    MPAone implies that one ‘volunteers’ for public service much like one ‘volunteers’ for the military as opposed to a mandatory draft.

    But this is not the common assumption about ‘volunteer’ service, as compared to paid public employees.

    Sure, it ‘feels good’, but includes HUGE risks that are unAmerican and historically dangerous.

    Despite the platitudes provided, I have yet to see a clear example where this bill delivers a unique need that only the federal government can provide, nor this expansion and expenditure is justified.

  • Comm_reply
    mpaone 03/24/2009 7:48pm

    Have you ever heard of a volunteer stipend? Many places of worship and nonprofits use these to compensate volunteers.

    So you are right in distinguishing between volunteer and unpaid. Volunteering does not necessarily include lack of compensation.

    Dictionary.com sites two main definitions of volunteer:

    1. a person who voluntarily offers himself or herself for a service or undertaking.
    2. a person who performs a service willingly and without pay.

    Clearly this bill uses the first definition. So it’s usage is valid. In other words, “paid volunteer” is not an oxymoron. It is a behavioral definition of intent, not a practical definition of compensation.

    But anyways, I would love to hear you define American vs. un-American.

  • Comm_reply
    mpaone 03/18/2009 6:44pm
    Link Reply
    + -1

    I was part of plenty of high school clubs (Literary Society, Key Club, Kiwanis, etc.) that required community service. It was rather easy to satisfy these, and there are always ways around it, such as reporting the same service to multiple groups, etc. and other kid’s tricks.

    I guess my point is, the “mandatory” stuff in here is only a study, which is a very, very long cry away from forcing people to volunteer. If the idea even got passed those 5 steps I just outlined, it’s implementation could be largely symbolic and supportive of pre-existing volunteerism.

    There’s definitely nothing to be afraid of here.

  • Comm_reply
    deborahg6 03/18/2009 8:54pm

    People ARE afraid, and rightly so. They had no voice in the stimulus package and now legislation is being passed without scrutiny and debate from the people. The role of Congress is to represent people. To be fair, President Obama and Rahm Emmanuel have publicly spoken on this issue and their intentions for “mandatory” service. In a perfect world, these ideas sound good. If you look at it from a strictly monetary point of view, this makes absolutely no sense whatsoever in this current economy. Our state is making painful cuts. To give money for volunteer organizations at this time is unconscionable and raises serious questions that need to be answered by our Federal Legislature.

  • Comm_reply
    FreedomNJ 03/23/2009 12:47pm
    Link Reply
    + -1

    “Nothing to be afraid of here”.. Yeah right, “trust me”! lol.

    Private organziations have to self-monitor, who will monitor this massive burocracy? Who will risk their ‘tuition bonus’ to do so?

    Congress has crammed through a series of awful legislation, why cram this through? 1) There is a huge risk this is just as bad. 2) It is a distraction from more serious problems. 3) we cannot afford more spending and Chinese Debt!

  • Comm_reply
    mpaone 03/23/2009 7:06pm

    To reiterate my previous comments about the money argument, and speaking of China.. we borrow 1 billion dollars per DAY from them to buy foreign oil.

    I would hope that if we here are all concerned about issues of budget and national debt, that we are also all pushing for heavy investment in clean energy (solar and wind), clean technology (hybrid cars, wind turbines, etc.), and promoting green jobs, to alleviate our oil dependency.

    In terms of the money argument, this Bill doesn’t even show up on the map.

  • Comm_reply
    FreedomNJ 03/24/2009 11:43am

    MPaone said "we borrow 1 billion dollars per DAY from them to buy foreign oil. "

    This is nonsense, so please stop repeating it.

    Our government is borrowing 1 Billion dollars a day to pay for liberal spending programs like 1388 while they oppose domestic energy production!

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