The House on Sept. 28 approved legislation introduced by U.S. Rep. Kristi Noem (R-SD) to prevent people with outstanding felony warrants or parole violations from claiming certain Social Security benefits, resulting in $2 billion in estimated savings.

Under the Control Unlawful Fugitive Felons (CUFF) Act, H.R. 2792, those with outstanding felony warrants, parole violations and probation violation warrants wouldn’t be able to receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI) payments. Once outstanding issues are resolved, benefits would be restored.

Savings realized by the enactment of H.R. 2792, which cleared the House with support from U.S. Reps. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) and Kevin Brady (R-TX), would be used to offset the costs of the Maternal, Infant and Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV) program.

“Hardworking taxpayers should not have to pay people who are fleeing from the law,” Noem said. “Not only is it unfair to ask taxpayers to do so, but it’s self-defeating to subsidize someone’s prolonged flight from justice.”

The CUFF Act, which is endorsed by police and sheriffs’ organizations, protects taxpayers and helps law enforcement officers apprehend those who have committed serious felonies, including murder, rape and kidnapping, Noem said.

Speaking in support of the bill, McMorris Rodgers, the House Republican Conference chair, said the goal of the measure is to ensure that taxpayer dollars benefit “lawful, hardworking Americans and the programs that benefit them.”

Brady, the chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, echoed McMorris Rodgers’ sentiments and applauded Noem for leading the CUFF Act to House approval.

“The legislation passed today reinforces the original intent of a law, signed under President Clinton, to help ensure our taxpayer dollars are going toward law-abiding Americans,” Brady said. “By prohibiting wanted felons and parole violators from receiving monthly SSI payments, this bill saves millions of dollars to instead support a program that strengthens low-income families and the at-risk communities in which they live.”

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