Number: 111-14
Date: March 31, 2009

House and Senate Pass H.R. 1388, the
“Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act”


On March 9, 2009, H.R. 1388, the “Generations Invigorating Volunteerism and Education Act,” was introduced by Representative McCarthy and was approved on March 18, 2009, by a vote of 321 – 105. No provisions of interest to SSA were included in H.R. 1388, as initially passed by the House.

A companion bill, S. 277, the “Serve America Act” was introduced on January 16, 2009 by Senator Kennedy and later amended in the nature of a substitute by Senator Mikulski on March 18, 2009.

On March 26, 2009, the Senate amended and passed the House bill using similar language from S. 277 by a vote of 79 – 19. Among other things, the Senate amendment renamed the bill the “Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act.” On March 31, 2009, the House approved the Senate bill by a vote of 275 - 149, clearing the measure for the President.

H.R. 1388 contains the following provision of interest to SSA:

Study to Evaluate the Effectiveness of Agency Coordination

•  In consultation with the Department of Education (ED), the Social Security Administration (SSA), the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and other Federal agencies, would require the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) to conduct a study to review the feasibility of:

•  Expanding and participating in the data matching system currently conducted by the ED with SSA and DHS to verify an individual's statement of citizenship, nationality, or status as a permanent resident; or

•  Establishing a comparable system of data matching conducted by CNCS with SSA and DHS.

•  Would require such study:

•  To identify the costs, benefits, or detriments of such system;

•  To identify strategies for ensuring the privacy of information shared between ED, DHS, SSA, and CNCS;

•  To identify an alternative verification system for situations in which the expanded or comparable system failed to verify the individual's declaration of compliance; and,

•  To include recommendations for implementation of such a system.

•  Would require CNCS to submit a report on the results of this study and a plan for implementation of a pilot data matching program, if feasible, to Congress, not later than 9 months after enactment.