September 27, 2017
United States House of Representatives
Washington, DC 20515
On behalf of the millions of members and supporters of the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare, I am writing to express our strong opposition to enacting legislation that reduces Social Security and Supplemental Security Income benefit payments for the purpose of offsetting spending in unrelated programs, such as the Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting Program Reauthorization bill.
The cuts to which we object are proposed in H.R. 2792, the “Control Unlawful Fugitive Felons Act of 2017,” which would revive an old, failed policy that had catastrophic effects for many seniors and people with disabilities, employing procedures that, in the past, did not withstand judicial scrutiny.
The Social Security Act currently prohibits payment of benefits to individuals who are fleeing from law enforcement to avoid prosecution or imprisonment. These procedures work well to ensure that people who are fleeing from law enforcement are not paid benefits that would facilitate their flight.
H.R. 2792 would bar payment of benefits for seniors with outstanding felony warrants for their arrest. Almost none of the seniors who would be affected by this provision are actual fugitives from justice, and most of the warrants in question are many years old and involve minor infractions. Reenacting this requirement would once again subject seniors to a provision that will have a catastrophic effect on them.
For these reasons, the National Committee urges you to oppose any legislation, including bills that extend the Maternal, Infant and Early Childhood Home Visiting Program, that are offset by the enactment of Social Security policy changes that reduce benefits for America’s seniors.
President and CEO