GOP senator's legislation would pull Peace Corps out of China

GOP senator's legislation would pull Peace Corps out of China
© Aaron Schwartz

The Peace Corps will cease operations in China and shift to become an arm of the State Department if a bill filed by Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla.) on Tuesday is passed.

Scott's bill, titled the Peace Corps Mission Accountability Act, would shift the agency from the executive branch to become a sub-agency of the State Department, overseen by the secretary of state.

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The bill would also immediately direct the organization to end aid efforts in China, where agency volunteers teach English in Chinese schools.

“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 a press release.

Scott's bill "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," he added.

If passed, Scott's bill would prohibit the organization from any future operations in countries deemed "hostile to the United States" and would direct the agency to operate "in line with the foreign policy goals of the United States."

Founded in 1961, the Peace Corps has operated in 141 countries around the world on a wide variety of issues including business development, disease eradication and agricultural services.