Campaign Promises

Other/Miscellaneous -> Independent Organizations -> CNCS


ItemIndependent Organizations
CNCSGrade
IO-2
The Promise: "Will build on the foundation of sites like USAFreedomCorps.gov and VolunteerMatch.org and leverage technology to increase awareness of and participation in service opportunities."
When/Where: Obama-Biden Plan: "Helping All Americans Serve Their Country", 09/11/08.
Source: http://www.thepowerhour.com/news4/NationalServicePlanFactSheet.pdf
Status:The creation of the website "Serve.org" by the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) fulfills this promise.
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IO-3
The Promise: "Will expand and fund AmeriCorps from 75,000 slots today to 250,000 ...to establish five new Corps: Classroom Corps, ...Health Corps, ...Clean Energy Corps, ...Veterans Corps, ... and Homeland Security Corps.."
When/Where: Obama-Biden Plan: "Helping All Americans Serve Their Country" dated 09/11/08.
Source: http://www.thepowerhour.com/news4/NationalServicePlanFactSheet.pdf
Status:By signing the $5.7 billion Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act into law on 04/21/09, which more than triples the size of the domestic volunteer group AmeriCorps from 75,000 to 250,000 by 2017, with incremental manpower increases as follows:

- 88,000 in FY2010
- 115,000 in FY2011
- 140,000 in FY2012
- 170,000 in FY2013
- 200,000 in FY2014
- 210,000 in FY2015
- 235,000 in FY2016
- 250,000 in FY2017

As of early-CY2013 and four years after the above law was signed, with only 82,600 persons in national service positions, President Obama's plan has not yet met the goal established for FY2010 (88,000). At this rate, the mandated increase in national service positions to 250,000 will not be met by FY2017.

The above law also supported the creation of a "Healthy Futures Corps," a "Clean Energy Service Corps," and a "Veterans Corps." Although reference is made in the above law to citizen participation in classroom and homeland security support initiatives, no specific "Classroom Corps" or "Homeland Security Corps" has been created as of early-CY2013.

This promise, while partially fulfilled, appears to be on the path of non-fulfillment both from a personnel strength perspective and a corps creation perspective.
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IO-4
The Promise: "...will engage more interested seniors into public service opportunities by expanding the Senior Corps program..."
When/Where: Obama Plan: "Helping America's Seniors", dated 10/26/07.
Source: http://obama.3cdn.net/f6f6e3259bb8cf1554_6xlnmvr35.pdf
Status:In the President's 2010 Budget for the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), this promise is covered by the statement: "The President's Budget would expand and improved Senior Corps programs, which connect individuals over the age of 55 to local volunteer opportunities, allowing more retirees to help meet the needs and challenges in their communities."

For FY2009, the enacted budget level for the Senior Corps was $214M. This went up slightly to $221M in FY2010, but was funded below the FY2009 level for FY2011 and FY2012 ($207M respectively). President Obama's request for FY2013 maintains the $207M level of funding.

Based on the above negative funding trend, this promise is considered unfulfilled.
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IO-5
The Promise: "Will support the creation of an "Artists Corps" of young artists trained to work in low-income schools and their communities."
When/Where: Obama-Biden Plan: "Champions for Arts and Culture", dated 09/11/08.
Source: http://www.artsdel.org/advocacy/Obama_Arts.pdf
Status:Section 1302 of the Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act (H.R. 1388), signed into law by President Obama on 04/21/09 provides, in part, for "skilled musicians and artists to promote greater community unity through the use of music and arts education and engagement through work in low-income communities..."

The logical organization to assume the responsibility for the creation of the "Artist Corps" would be the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), however no specific "Artist Corps" has been established as of early-CY2013.

This promise has not been fulfilled.
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IO-6
The Promise: "...will maintain fiscal responsibility and prevent any increase in the deficit by offsetting cuts and revenue sources in other parts of the government...national service plan will cost about $3.5 billion per year when it is fully implemented..."
When/Where: Obama-Biden Plan: "Helping All Americans Serve Their Country" dated 09/11/08.
Source: http://www.thepowerhour.com/news4/NationalServicePlanFactSheet.pdf
Status:Under President Obama, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) forecasted on 08/22/12 that the U.S. budget deficit will be $1.3B for FY2012, the same as for FY2011 (and up from about $450B in FY2008) and equal to 7.3% of the nation's Gross Domestic Product (GDP). OMB awaits final passage of the FY2013 budget and appropriations before making firm budget deficit predictions for that year.

Pessimistic about the ability of Congress and the White House to reduce the nation's federal budget deficit, Standard and Poor's reduced the U.S. credit rating from AAA to AA+ on 08/05/11 -- the first credit rating downgrade in the nation's history.

A bipartisan supercommittee (Joint Committee on Deficit Reduction (aka "Simpson-Bowles Commission") was formed under the Budget Control Act of 2011 signed into law on 08/02/11. Although this Act increased the national debt ceiling to $16.4T, the supercommittee was mandated to identify $1.2T over ten years in federal spending cuts by 11/23/11. If the supercommittee failed to agree on these spending cuts, cuts to national defense in the amount of $600B and another $600B from other agencies would be automatic.

On 11/09/11, Republicans on the supercommittee offered a $1.2T package that included new taxes in the amount of $300B in return for maintaining lower tax rates that originated during the Bush presidency. The supercommittee Democrats rejected this package, claiming that the rich would gain a tax windfall and the middle and poor classes would suffer under the Republican plan.

The supercommittee was not so super after all. It announced failure to meet the dictates of its mandate on 11/21/11. President Obama promised on the same date to veto any legislation designed to prevent the above automatic cuts, to take effect in CY2013. At the same time, he indicated that he would ignore most of the supercommittee's recommendations.

On 02/13/12, President Obama presented his $3.8T spending plan. Interpretation of this 10-year plan reveals that annual deficits will exceed $6.7T over the next decade despite an estimated $4T in deficit reduction initiatives. At the same time, the national debt held by foreign investors is projected to grow to $18.7T by FY2021, equivalent to 76.5% of the U.S. national economy.

As of 09/03/12, the national debt which was increased by President Obama by $5.4T since he took office in CY2009, breached the $16T level. To resolve this debt, which grew to $16.5T by 02/13, each of America's citizens would have to pay nearly $53K.

As to the proposed "national service plan," Congressman Charles Rangel (D-NY) introduced the "Universal National Service Act" (H.R. 5741) on 07/15/10 that would have required "all persons in the United States between the ages of 18 and 42 to perform national service, either as a member of the uniformed services or in civilian service in furtherance of the national defense and homeland security..."

H.R. 5741 did not progress beyond the introductory phase and expired with the 111th Congress at the end of CY2010. It was replaced by the "Universal National Service Act of 2011" (H.R. 1152), also introduced by Congressman Rangel, on 03/17/11. This bill did not progress beyond initial committee reviews and expired with the 112th Congress at the end of CY2012.

The promise to "maintain fiscal responsibility and prevent any increase in the deficit" has not, as of early-CY2013, been fulfilled. Nor is it apparent to the average American taxpayer that President Obama is committed to eliminating this deficit other than his repeated insistence that the solution lies primarily in the raising of taxes on the so-called 1% "rich" folks.
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IO-7
The Promise: "Will create a Social Investment Fund Network."
When/Where: Obama-Biden Plan: "Helping All Americans Serve Their Country" dated 09/11/08.
Source: http://www.thepowerhour.com/news4/NationalServicePlanFactSheet.pdf
Status:The creation of a Social Investment Fund occurred under the aegis of the Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act, signed into law on 04/21/09 by President Obama. Initial funding in the amount of $50M for this fund, now referred to as the "Social Innovation Fund," came to fruition under the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2010, signed by President Obama on 12/16/09. Promise fulfilled.
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IO-8
The Promise: "...will also create an energy-focused youth jobs program to invest in disconnected and disadvantaged youth."
When/Where: Obama-Biden Plan: "New Energy for America," dated 09/06/08.
Source: http://energy.gov/sites/prod/files/edg/media/Obama_New_Energy_0804.pdf
Status:President Obama created the Clean Energy Service Corps as part of the Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act he signed into law in 04/09.

The Clean Energy Service Corps, which will be part of AmeriCorps, is intended to train people and put them to work installing solar panels, weatherizing low-income homes, conducting home energy audits, and consulting small businesses on their energy use.

Promise fulfilled.
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IO-9
The Promise: "Under the current federal work-study program...at least 7 percent of that funding is supposed to go to community service jobs like tutoring...we need to raise the service threshold to 25 percent...will work to help colleges and universities reach the goal of 50 percent in serve-study..."
When/Where: Obama-Biden Plan: "Helping All Americans Serve Their Country" dated 09/11/08.
Source: http://www.thepowerhour.com/news4/NationalServicePlanFactSheet.pdf
Status:Under Title 34, Chapter VI, Part 675.18 of the Code of Federal Regulations and the Higher Education Act of 1965 (as amended), an institution must use at least 7% of the sum of its initial and supplemental Federal Work-Study (FWS) allocations for an award year to compensate students employed in community service activities.

As of CY2012, Department of Education rules indicate that schools must use at least 7% of their FWS allocation to employ students in community service jobs with at least one student employed as a reading tutor or performing family literacy activities. We've seen no activity on the part of President Obama to raise this community service threshhold to 25%, let alone 50%.

This promise has not been fulfilled.
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IO-10
The Promise: "I am also going to create a 5-E Youth Service Corps. The "E's" stand for energy efficiency, environmental education and employment."
When/Where: Obama Campaign Speech, Hampton, VA, dated 06/05/07.
Source: http://www.asksam.com/ebooks/releases.asp?file=Obama-Speeches.ask&dn=Hampton%20University%20Annual%20Ministers%27%20Conference
Status:There is not yet any sign that the promised "5-E Youth Service Corps" is being established, logically under the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) that was reauthorized under the Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act of 2009.

While there exist several programs that include America's youth such as the "America's Great Outdoor Initiative" the "21st Century Conservation Service Corps" and "YouthBuild," President Obama said he would "create" a specific "5-E Youth Service Corps" and has not done so.

As of early-CY2013, this promise has not been fulfilled.
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IO-11
The Promise: "There will be a comprehensive, easily searchable web presence with information about service opportunities, and a full strategy to ensure that people interested in opportunities can find them. This will essentially be a craigslist for service... will also use technology to make service opportunities available for people who may prefer to work out of their homes or at unusual hours."
When/Where: Obama-Biden Plan: "Helping All Americans Serve Their Country" dated 09/11/08.
Source: http://www.thepowerhour.com/news4/NationalServicePlanFactSheet.pdf
Status:The Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) has a web site entitled "Interactive Program Selector for Individuals," an interactive program designed to guide individuals to Americorps and Senior Corps programs that may interest them.

This site also has a link to www.serve.gov, a site that provides other leads to volunteer opportunities.

Promise fulfilled.
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IO-12
The Promise: "...will tie a plan to give schools a substantial infusion of funds to support teachers and principals and improve student learning to the condition that school districts develop programs to engage students in service opportunities."
When/Where: Obama-Biden Plan: "Helping All Americans Serve Their Country" dated 09/11/08.
Source: http://www.thepowerhour.com/news4/NationalServicePlanFactSheet.pdf
Status:The perfect vehicle to deliver on this promise was the "Learn and Serve" program. This program offered approximately 1M students from kindergarten through college the opportunity to get involved by integrating community service projects with classroom activities.

The "Learn and Serve" program funding started to stagnate in FY2009 with funding limited to $37.4M. The budget hit continued in FY2010 ($36.5M) until Congress killed this program in FY2011.

The promise for a "substantial infusion of funds" was not apparent in President Obama's first budget proposal (FY2010). The rest is history.

This promise has not been fulfilled.
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IO-13
The Promise: "...believe that middle and high school students should be expected to engage in community service for 50 hours annually during the school year or summer months. They will develop national guidelines for service-learning and community service programs, and will give schools better tools both to develop successful programs and to document the experience of students at all levels."
When/Where: Obama-Biden Plan: "Helping All Americans Serve Their Country" dated 09/11/08.
Source: http://www.thepowerhour.com/news4/NationalServicePlanFactSheet.pdf
Status:The Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) "Learn and Serve America" program was the perfect vehicle to support promise fulfillment. This program was cancelled by Congress in FY2011.

Other than existing state and district service-learning policies and guidelines, there has been no known development of "national guidelines" or any specific mandate articulated by the Obama Administration to CNCS that ALL middle school and high school students engage in community service.

This promise has not been fulfilled.
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IO-14
The Promise: "...will create an agency within the Corporation for National and Community Service dedicated to building the capacity and effectiveness of the nonprofit sector. The agency will be charged with: improving coordination of programs that support nonprofits across the federal government; fostering nonprofit accountability; streamlining processes for obtaining federal grants and contracts, and eliminating unnecessary requirements; and removing barriers for smaller nonprofits to participate in government programs. The agency will make grants to build the infrastructure of the nonprofit sector and capacity of nonprofit organizations, including their ability to ensure accountability, manage volunteers, and improve outcomes."
When/Where: Obama-Biden Plan: "Helping All Americans Serve Their Country" dated 09/11/08.
Source: http://www.thepowerhour.com/news4/NationalServicePlanFactSheet.pdf
Status:The "Nonprofit Capacity Building Program" (NCBP) was created under the Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act of 2009. It satisfies all of the criteria addressed in this promise. Under this law, the NCBP was authorized $25M over a period of five years.

For FY2010 and FY2011, the CNCS had approximately $1M available to award new cooperative agreements under this program.

This promise has been fulfilled.
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