Terminate Federal programs that pay people to volunteer

  • Potential 10 Year Savings: $11.5 Billion
  • Sponsor: Rep. Marlin Stutzman
  • Legislation: H.R. 3794
  • Status: Introduced

The Corporation for National and Community Service was established by President Bill Clinton in 1993 to consolidate and expand programs which provide federal support for voluntarism. The largest program funded by the corporation is AmeriCorps, which provides monthly stipends to volunteers and allows them to receive assistance for paying college tuition after completing their terms of service. In fiscal year 2010, 629,000 college students participated in the program. Volunteers work as paid employees of local community organizations that provide human services, such as soup kitchens or homeless shelters. An essential rationale for these programs is that public service should be encouraged by paying people to volunteer in their communities. According to the Corporation's budget request, its programs directly supported or leveraged 5.1 million American volunteers in 2010. However, that is only 8 percent of the total 62.8 million Americans who performed volunteer work in their communities last year, according to the Census Bureau. The Census Bureau reported that 26 percent of Americans over the age of 16 engaged in volunteer work in 2010. Most of them did so without any federal subsidy.