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Background on Citizen Corps

President Bush is calling on Congress to pass a Citizen Service Act this legislative session that will encompass reforms and principles he will outline today. Together, these reforms and principles will create meaningful changes in the domestic service programs that are administered primarily by the Corporation for National and Community Service - an independent Federal agency created to administer most of the major federally funded domestic volunteer and community service programs.

The National and Community Service Act is the statute that originally authorized several of the programs administered by the Corporation including: AmeriCorps, Learn and Serve America and the National Civilian Community Corps. The Domestic Volunteer Service Act authorizes the Corporation's Volunteers in Service to America (VISTA) program and the National Senior Volunteer Corps - known as Senior Corps. Both statutes have been pending reauthorization by Congress since the end of fiscal year 1996. As a result, none of the Corporation’s programs has had the benefit of a thorough review and discussion by the Congress for nearly a decade.

The programs fall into three groups: