Rick Scott wants Peace Corps to answer to the U.S. State Department
Sen. Rick Scott

Scott's bill would force Peace Corps to leave China after the agency's director refused

Republican U.S. Sen. Rick Scott wants the Peace Corps out of China and other countries hostile to American interests and he is introducing legislation to force that and put the long-independent, civilian-service agency under the U.S. Department of State.

Scott, Florida’s junior Senator, filed his Peace Corps Mission Accountability Act Tuesday, about three weeks after Peace Corps Director Judy Olsen, refused his request to get the corps out of China.

Olsen’s rebuff came in a meeting in which Scott had several Peace Corps issues to raise with her, topped by China, which has been a growing point of concern for him in recent months. After that meeting, he issued a statement charging the agency with “propping up our adversaries.

A news release issued Tuesday announcing his bill declared, “Currently, the Peace Corps has no effective oversight, operating as an independent agency within the executive branch.”

The bill he filed Tuesday would change the status of the Peace Corps, founded in 1961 as an independent agency, to being subordinate of the Department of State.

The bill would give the U.S. Secretary of State authority over the Director of the Peace Corps and give the Secretary of State power to line up the Peace Corps’ work and budget with foreign policy goals.

The bill also would specifically terminate Peace Corps activities in China, and prohibit the Peace Corps from operating in countries hostile to the United States.

“The Peace Corps has an honorable mission of promoting freedom and spreading American ideals to developing countries around the world. We want the Peace Corps to do good work across the globe just not with our enemies like China,” Scott said in the news release.

“The Peace Corps continues to use taxpayer dollars to support programs in places like China, which continues to steal our technology and intellectual property, refuses to open up their markets, is militarizing the South China Sea, violates human rights and supports Maduro’s genocide in Venezuela,” he continued. “The Peace Corps Mission Accountability Act provides the oversight necessary to make sure all Peace Corps activities are in line with our national security interests and in underdeveloped countries that truly need our help not wealthy nations like China. This is about protecting both taxpayer money and the American people.”

Scott Powers

Scott Powers is an Orlando-based political journalist with 30+ years’ experience, mostly at newspapers such as the Orlando Sentinel and the Columbus Dispatch. He covers local, state and federal politics and space news across much of Central Florida. His career earned numerous journalism awards for stories ranging from the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster to presidential elections to misplaced nuclear waste. He and his wife Connie have three grown children. Besides them, he’s into mystery and suspense books and movies, rock, blues, basketball, baseball, writing unpublished novels, and being amused. Email him at [email protected]


  • DumpChromeDome2024

    July 30, 2019 at 4:05 pm

    Shouldabenafelon Scott is a real piece of work. A true low-life in the Trump mold! Where do I introduce legislation to get Shouldabenafelon the hell out of the Senate? He’s already totally defiled the Governor’s Mansion in Tallahassee and the beach in Naples! ‘The Rick Tide’ – worse than The Red Tide!

  • jeff miller

    July 31, 2019 at 7:32 am

    Who would have thought Rick Freaking Lizardman Scott would want to expand government? Rick Scott and bigger government? Really??

  • Lily

    August 2, 2019 at 11:22 am

    What a dick! That’s what USAID is for! Order USAID around. What happened to all the Christian “love your enemies” and “Heap coals of fire on their heads with the nice things you’ve done for them?” Why is Rick Scott Florida’s senator? somebody vote him out!

  • GogetemScott

    August 2, 2019 at 5:40 pm

    Peace Corp has outlived is usefulness! Stop wasting my tax $$ on free vacations! Get their little pinko commie butts back here working in the USA progressive rat holes!

    • margaret hurley

      August 3, 2019 at 8:00 pm

      Gogetem doesn’t get it-any of it.Unless you want to live in the tropics without air conditioning, screens on the windows, electricity, hot water or transportation to your school or clinic except by foot-then the Peace Corps experience has no relationship to a vacation.Surely, Gogetem, you can’t believe that the world would not function better if differing cultures could learn to communicate with more understanding and that the U.S. would become stronger if it ceases to be perceived as a negative world influence. PC Volunteers are not “pinko Commies”-they are unpaid(no salary) ambassadors for what is best about our country.

      • Donald Patriss

        August 3, 2019 at 11:40 pm

        As a former Peace Corps Volunteer in Africa and a resident of Florida, I wish to tell Senator Scott that he doesn’t understand the role of a Peace Corps volunteer. The Peace Corps is not a branch of the State Department. The volunteers live like the people of the country they are volunteers in. They represent the average America and are there to learn from the people they work with as well as help them to know average Americans. By being an independent agency they are the true ambassadors of the American people. They represent the American people, not the State Department. The people they work with need to know they are not spies for our government. Lifelong friendships are made and the Chinese get to know us as we work with them. Years later the people we work with will remember us even when their government may have changed. I was a volunteer in 1963-66 and even today I still have contact with my former students some of whom have gone on to be leaders in their countries and always remember with fondness their Americans friends. We lived simply and worked hard. We gave up 2- 3 years of our lives to help and to learn another culture as well as to show our culture. It is important that the volunteers not be part of the official government who would try to infiltrate the ranks of the volunteers and plant spies and destroy the trust that the volunteers have worked hard to show the locals how average Americans are. Governor Scott you are not helping the Peace Corps which ever since the time of John Kennedy has been one of the few constant successes of our country.

Comments are closed.


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