Democratic presidential candidate and South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg addresses the Rainbow PUSH Coalition Annual International Convention in Chicago, Tuesday, July 2, 2019. (AP Photo/Amr Alfiky)

Buttigieg says plan to expand national service will unify US

July 03, 2019 - 6:00 am

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) — Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg (BOO'-tuh-juhj) wants to increase opportunities for national service and build a network of 1 million service members by 2026.

The South Bend, Indiana, mayor introduced his national service policy on Wednesday. He says the voluntary plan would help people of different backgrounds form connections like the ones he formed while serving with the Navy Reserve in Afghanistan.

Buttigieg's plan would add funding for existing federal programs like AmeriCorps and increase the number of opportunities from 75,000 to 250,000, which would cost $20 billion over 10 years. It also would create new service organizations such as a Climate Corps.

Buttigieg's campaign hasn't provided a cost for that part or said how it intends to pay for the plan.

The 2026 deadline coincides with the 250th anniversary of America's independence.

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