Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid released a statement Monday in which he discussed the Serve America Act, President Barack Obama's budget and the AIG bonuses.
The Serve America Act, Reid said, will provide better opportunities for Americans of all ages, from all regions and walks of life, to answer the call to service.
The Serve America Act is part of Obama's plan to get more people to volunteer their services to help improve communities.
Reid said the legislation builds on the success of the AmeriCorps program with a goal of increasing the number of volunteers from 75,000 to a quarter-million.
He further noted that the act increases the education award for full-time volunteers and links it to increases in the maximum Pell Grant.
I urge my colleagues, Reid said, to honor the selfless commitment to a better country that Americans are making in their communities every day by passing this outstanding legislation.
We will also continue meeting and negotiating on President Obama's budget this week, Reid added.
We need a budget that lays the groundwork for an economy that doesn't just recover in the short term, but prospers in the long term.
Reid argued, We must invest in education, health care, and renewable energy. These are not optional projects worth saving for better times; they are requirements for job creation and long-term economic recovery.
He added that Obama's budget must provide tax relief for working Americans who are struggling under the weight of rising prices and decreasing household incomes.
In addressing the AIG bonuses, Reid said, Last week I followed action from the House of Representatives by offering for unanimous consent legislation that would recoup the outrageous bonuses paid by AIG to its top executives.
Unfortunately, Reid noted, despite joining Democrats and the American people in their calls for action, there was a Republican objection to my request.
Despite Republican objection, Reid said he would continue to work to right this egregious misuse of taxpayer funds.
Republicans have asked for more time to study the legislation, Reid said. With Republican cooperation, we can quickly and responsibly return these funds to the American people.
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