from the Family Research Council
GIVE Him an Inch...
President Obama has said repeatedly that he wants to create an army of volunteers, but who knew he planned on drafting his troops? The GIVE (Generations Invigorating Volunteerism and Education) Act empowers the President to do just that.
For a piece of legislation as misguided as GIVE, the bill has sailed almost completely uncontested through the House (321-105) and Senate (79-19). Among its more troubling aspects, GIVE (also known as the "Serve America Act" and H.R. 1388) costs roughly $6 billion and makes forced volunteerism a part of young people's curriculum. Maybe you, like the 400 leaders who voted in favor of GIVE, believe that instilling a sense of charity in our teens sounds like a reasonable idea. Unfortunately, the fine print makes it quite clear that this legislation isn't driven by a sense of community service, but rather a liberal ideology that dictates how and whom our children will serve. With Obama bureaucrats directing young people to government-approved charities, it's likely that teenagers will have no opportunity to give back to worthwhile (but pro-family) causes like pregnancy care centers or church food pantries.
Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.), a Republicans with real spine, pointed out that the language of the bill is intentionally vague, which could help radical groups advance their agenda with taxpayer dollars "in the name of community service." In an admirable attempt to incorporate some pro-life efforts in the list of approved charities, Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.) introduced an amendment to ensure that pregnancy care centers were included. It failed by a 41-56 vote.
Thune wasn't finished yet. To help preserve the tax deduction for charitable giving that President Obama has fought to cut, the South Dakota senator tried to pass a "Sense of the Senate" amendment in opposition to the White House plan. (A "Sense of the Senate" expresses the opinion of the Senate but doesn't make law.) Despite being endorsed by 600 D.C.-based charities, it fell one vote shy (48-49). For an excellent breakdown of H.R. 1388, don't miss RedState's post, "National Service--Soviet Style."