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House backs bill to increase service opportunities

March 18, 2009 1:46:26 PM PDT
House lawmakers have approved a measure to increase service opportunities and encourage more Americans to get involved in their communities. The bill fulfills President Barack Obama's campaign promise to promote volunteerism and national service.

The legislation passed the House by a 321-105 vote and now goes to the Senate.

The House measure is slated to cost $6 billion over five years, with the goal of increasing service programs by 175,000 participants.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Americans have always risen to the occasion in challenging times.

She said passage of the bill "will launch a new era of national service."

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