Portman’s bill becomes law ensuring completion of Peace Corps commemorative project

Bipartisan, bicameral legislation introduced by U.S. Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH) to reauthorize the Peace Corps commemorative project before it expires this month became law on Jan. 5 with the president’s signature.

“I applaud President Trump for signing this important legislation into law,” Sen. Portman said on Wednesday.

Sen. Portman on July 1, 2020 sponsored the Peace Corps Commemorative Work Extension Act, S. 4128, with lead cosponsor U.S. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), to extend through Jan. 24, 2028, the authority of the Peace Corps Commemorative Foundation to establish a commemorative work on federal land in Washington, D.C., that commemorates the mission of the Peace Corps and the ideals upon which it was founded, according to the congressional record bill summary.

U.S. Reps. Joseph Kennedy III (D-MA) and Garret Graves (R-LA) introduced the identical H.R. 7460 in their chamber. The measure in December 2020 received approval from both houses of Congress before it was signed into law, ensuring that the project is able to secure the necessary design approvals and raise the funding for construction. 

The legislation is an extension of the bipartisan Peace Corps Commemorative Act that was signed into law in 2014. Sen. Portman, along with Sen. Shaheen and Rep. Kennedy, also introduced the bills to create the law, which designated the Peace Corps Commemorative Foundation as the lead non-federal sponsor for the commemorative project and prohibits the use of federal funding. 

The newly signed law extends the authorization for the commemorative project for an additional seven years.

“For more than 50 years, the Peace Corps has served as a powerful vehicle for volunteers who wish to use their talents to carry America’s humanitarian values to other parts of the world,” said Sen. Portman. “By reauthorizing this project, we can ensure the Peace Corps Commemorative Foundation can finish this important project and honor those Americans who have donated their time and talent to serving others.” 

Roger Lewis, president of the Peace Corps Commemorative Foundation, and National Peace Corps Association President Glenn Blumhorst thanked Sen. Portman for his efforts and commended the president’s signing of the extension bill into law. 

“The tremendous work of the Peace Corps Commemorative Foundation will now be able to continue without interruption, and we look forward to continued progress leading to groundbreaking,” Blumhorst said.