Pete Buttigieg is serving up a brand new plan.
The South Bend, Indiana mayor and 2020 Democrat has proposed "A New Call to Service" that would push the number of people participating in national service to 1 million by 2026. Those positions would come by expanding the existing Peace Corps and AmeriCorps programs, as well as creating a slew of new service corps, and may help recent college graduates alleviate their debt, Politico reports.
Buttigieg's new proposal, which is slated for an official reveal at a Wednesday night town hall, is inspired by his time in the military. But "you shouldn't have to go to war" to feel a sense of "national service," he said in a statement to Politico. So that's why he'd like to expand the ranks of 7,300 Peace Corp volunteers and trainees and 75,000 AmeriCorps members to a total of 250,000, per The New York Times. Buttigieg is hoping to then grow that total to 1 million by 2026, with an estimated cost of $20 billion over the next decade, his campaign said. The proposal also mentions establishing new corps that address climate and health concerns, with the eventual hope that "the first question posed to any job candidate or college applicant would be, 'What did you do with your time in service?,'" Politico writes.
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Buttigieg hopes to fill all these programs by promising a credit toward workers' student debts under the already existent Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program, the Times reports. That looks similar to debt forgiveness service programs mentioned by fellow candidates Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), and former Rep. John Delaney. Read more at Politico.
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