H.R. 993, The AmeriCorps Program Elimination Act: What It Does

Supplied to Capitol Link by Rep. Todd Tiahrt (R-KS)
Legislative Summary
The AmeriCorps Program Elimination Act terminates the AmeriCorps component of the Corporation for National Service (CNS). AmeriCorps, established in 1993, will spend $400 million this year to pay “volunteers” to, in many cases, essentially function as low-level federal bureaucrats. These AmeriCorps “volunteers” receive an annual compensation of $26,000. This program distorts a true sense of volunteerism and perpetuates the notion that the solution to every problem is just one big-government program away.

The AmeriCorps Program Elimination Act would prohibit CNS from recruiting and/or accepting any additional “volunteers” after the date of enactment, and would prohibit any future appropriations.

The existing 1997 appropriation of $407 million will allow the program to continue through 1997 after which time the program will be terminated.

The legislation preserves AmeriCorps’ education trust fund which is currently sufficient to meet ALL of the obligations for scholarship grants owed to past and current volunteers, so NO NEW APPROPRIATIONS ARE NECESSARY to provide educational grants which are due AmeriCorps participants.*

During the 104th Congress Rep. Tiahrt offered an amendment to the FY 1997 VA/HUD Appropriations Act which successfully terminated AmeriCorps and transferred its appropriation to veterans health programs and deficit reduction. After passing the House by voice vote, the Tiahrt amendment was unfortunately removed during conference with the Senate.

This legislation is a straightforward elimination of a big-government program which this country can no longer afford.

*CRS memo, 2/20/97, “According to the Corporation, the trust fund (when combined with the interest anticipated to be earned on the trust’s principle) is sufficient to meet loan and award obligations that have been made with appropriations up to and including FY 1997 for all three AmeriCorps programs.”

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