WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Senator Rick Scott sent a letter to the Director of the Peace Corps requesting a detailed outline of the Peace Corps’ plan for a speedy withdrawal from Communist China. Since the Peace Corps announced its decision to wind down operations in Communist China this month, the Director has refused to take a meeting with the Senator to discuss next steps. This decision follows months of Senator Scott calling for the Peace Corps to get out of Communist China, and the introduction of Senator Scott’s Peace Corps Mission Accountability Act, which prohibits all Peace Corps activity in hostile countries, including Communist China.
Read the Senator’s letter HERE or below.
January 30, 2020
Dr. Josephine Olsen, PhD
1275 First Street NE
Washington, DC 20526
Dear Director Olsen:
The Peace Corps has an honorable mission of promoting freedom and spreading American ideals to developing countries around the world. But the Peace Corps should not be propping up our adversaries with U.S. tax dollars, and that includes Communist China.
Last year, I was shocked to learn that the Peace Corps is using American taxpayer dollars to send volunteers and resources to Communist China – a nation that continues to steal our jobs, technology and intellectual property, refuses to open up their markets, is militarizing the South China Sea, violates human rights and is imprisoning over one million Chinese citizens simply because of their religion.
After this discovery, I met with your team to learn more about your mission in Communist China. I was wholly unsatisfied by the response and the lack of any return on investment for taxpayers, and subsequently called on the Peace Corps to remove all volunteers from China immediately. I also sponsored the Peace Corps Mission Accountability Act, which prohibits all Peace Corps activity in hostile countries, including Communist China.
I was adamant that the Peace Corps should stop sending volunteers to an adversary of the United States. At first, the Peace Corps called this political pressure, but finally, the Peace Corps agreed and announced this month that they are leaving Communist China. This is the right decision, and one that must be done without delay. I have since requested a meeting with you, but have not received a response. Therefore, I ask that you please provide, in writing, the following:
- A detailed outline of the Peace Corps’ plan for withdrawal from Communist China.
- What is your timeline for withdrawal?
- How many volunteers will you remove from Communist China?
- How many taxpayer dollars will now be available to help nations in need?
- Which nations will you focus on?
- What policy changes will the Peace Corps implement to ensure that the agency no longer sends volunteers to nations hostile to the national security interests of the United States?
It is important we do everything we can to protect both the American people and their taxpayer dollars, and I look forward to your quick response.
United States Senator
cc: Acting Director, Russ Vought, Office of Management and Budget
Acting Chief of Staff, Mick Mulvaney, The White House