The Senate on Thursday approved a major national service bill that triples the AmeriCorps program, despite concerns from some conservatives that it could allow politically charged groups to benefit from extra funding.
The Senate voted 78-20 to increase AmeriCorps to 250,000 from its current 75,000 positions. The legislation is expected to cost $6 billion over five years.
The House could take up the bill as early as Monday, sending it then to President Obama for his signature.
The package, called the Generations Invigorating Volunteerism and Education Act, or GIVE Act, encourages a broad range of Americans to give back to their communities. It would create five groups to help poor people, improve education, encourage energy efficiency, strengthen access to health care and assist veterans.
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