The Volunteer Freedom Act
Congressman Marlin Stutzman (R-IN) has introduced H.R.3794, the Volunteer Freedom Act, which would save taxpayers more than $10 billion over the next decade by eliminating the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS).
Over a year ago, Americans voted online on what programs they think should be cut from the federal budget in order to save money. Based on the massive amount of votes for eliminating the CNCS, Rep. Stutzman responded with this bill.
The CNCS pays people to volunteer. Think about that: your tax dollars are being used to pay someone to do something that, by definition, they should be doing for free. And Congress has trouble cutting that spending. Rep. Stutzman explains in a press release:
“My bill is based on a simple truth: it’s not volunteering if it comes with a paycheck. The Volunteer Freedom Act saves taxpayers billions of dollars by ending programs that cut checks to volunteers. It does nothing to discourage the millions of Americans who work for their communities and not for pay. Like so many projects cooked up by Washington’s bureaucracy, the CNCS is unnecessary and expensive. Last year alone, the program cost taxpayers over a billion dollars. It doesn’t make sense. Americans volunteer because we believe in better communities, stronger families, and personal commitments. Volunteering isn’t something we do for our bottom line.”
It is estimated that continuing to fund the CNCS will cost taxpayers more than $11.5 billion over the next ten years. Only 8% of the millions of Americans who volunteer every year do so through the CNCS. Rep. Stutzman’s bill would allow a one-year grace period for the program before transitioning over to true volunteerism.
Our national debt currently stands at over $15.3 trillion dollars. We’ve had trillion dollar plus deficits every year since President Obama was inaugurated. Yet somehow Congress finds it nearly impossible to find anything in the budget to cut. H.R.3794 is a simple step towards eliminating wasteful spending and getting our budget under control.