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Why is one Texas lawmaker looking to limit disability benefits?

Every month, millions of disabled Americans breathe a collective sigh of relief as they either receive a check in the mail or direct deposit into their account from the Social Security Administration that will allow them to pay for the basic necessities.

According to federal lawmakers, however, some of these people are actually on the run from law enforcement officials, meaning they are still able to receive their disability benefits every 30-plus days despite actively evading prosecution.

In recognition of this reality, Reps. Sam Johnson (R-Texas) and Kristi Noem (R-South Dakota) have introduced a bill that they argue would end this practice, with Johnson calling it "the right thing to do on behalf of hardworking American taxpayers."

What exactly is the legislation being advanced by Reps. Johnson and Noem?

The legislation in question is known as the Control Unlawful Fugitive Felon Act of 2015 or the CUFF Act.

What would it do if passed by Congress?

The CUFF Act calls for both disability benefits and retirement benefits to be discontinued for those people who are the subject of outstanding arrest warrants.

Does it apply to everyone who is the subject of an outstanding arrest warrant?

No. Only those individuals wanted on felony charges or charges that could result in at least one year in prison would see their disability benefits or retirement benefits brought to a halt.

Is this suspension of disability benefits or retirement benefits permanent?

No. The language of the CUFF Act dictates that both disability benefits and retirement benefits can be reinstated once the underlying criminal matter is resolved.

Would the CUFF Act really save money?

Preliminary estimates from the Congressional Budget Office indicate that it could save upwards of $4.8 billion over a ten-year period.

It will be interesting to see if the CUFF Act gains the necessary momentum in Congress. What are your thoughts? Would you like to see it passed or is it unnecessary?

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