President Obama signs Call to Service bill listen04/21/09 SeÃ¡n Kinane
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This afternoon President Barack Obama signed into law the Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act, which will fund such service programs as AmeriCorps.
Melody Barnes, director of the White House Domestic Policy Council, calls it â€œthe most sweeping expansion of national service programs in many, many yearsâ€ and says it was a â€œbig bipartisan victory.â€
â€œWe think that that happened because there are so many people both members of Congress as well as around the country who believe in the impact of national service.â€
Barnes says Obamaâ€™s 2010 budget â€œreflects his commitment to service,â€ through funding for the Corporation for National and Community Service. â€œIt requests $1.1 billion dollars for the corporation, which is about a 25 percent increase from last year.â€
Alan Solomont is chair of the Corporation for National and Community Service the group that will receive funding. Solomont says the bill signing â€œcomes at a pivotal moment for the nation because of the economic crisis.â€
â€œThis is a moment when service and civic participation have become a call to action and a necessity for a healthy democracy and a healthy nation.â€
The Corporation for National and Community Services vice chair, Stephen Goldsmith says they are â€œvery excited about the opportunity â€¦ to serve so many more Americans.â€
â€œItâ€™s a strong commitment of support for the civic infrastructure that makes our cities and counties in America generally strong places.â€
Obama also announced today that he has selected Nike Vice President Maria Eitel to become chief executive officer of the Corporation for National and Community Services.