DesJarlais a ‘YouCut’ Leader

News release from Rep. Scott DesJarlais:
WASHINGTON, DC – This week (November 30th- December 7th), Representative Scott DesJarlais (TN-04) has been selected to lead House Republican’s YouCut program.
YouCut is an effort launched by Majority Leader Eric Cantor and House Republicans over a year ago as a way for the American people to play a direct role in cutting wasteful government spending.
Individuals can visit the YouCut Web site (http://majorityleader.gov/YouCut/) where they will have seven days to vote to cut one of three wasteful government programs. These programs include:
1. Stop rewarding States for recruiting additional Food Stamp recipients
Potential Savings: up to $180 million over ten years
The Department of Agriculture’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (formerly known as the Food Stamp program) pays state governments bonuses for recruiting additional people to sign up for food stamps. Each year, states with the highest percentage of eligible participants enrolled in the program split $12 million in bonus funds. Additionally, the Department awards another $6 million in bonus money to states that are the fastest at signing up new program applicants. As of August, 2011, nearly 46 million Americans were on food stamps, or 15 percent of the population. Benefit costs were over $71 billion between September of 2010 and August of 2011. Program participation has grown steadily since the economic downturn began, and increased by 8 percent in 2011. There is no need to pay states for increasing the number of food stamp recipients they enroll in the program.
2. Terminate “environmental literacy” programs run by the Forest Service
Potential Savings — up to $50 million over ten years
The Forest Service runs numerous programs aimed at schoolchildren and classroom teachers under the rubric of “environmental literacy” or “conservation education.” These programs include such initiatives as “Green Schools” which “empowers students to lead the movement of sustainability and environmental responsibility at school, at home and in their community.” While students may benefit from some of the outdoors activities these programs provide, using taxpayer dollars to generate issue-oriented advocacy among school children and college students is inappropriate.
3. Eliminate production of duplicative workplace safety training materials
Potential Savings – up to $107 million over ten years
The Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration [OSHA] provides more than $10 million annually in grants to labor organizations and community groups to produce workplace safety training materials for employees and employers. Under the Susan Harwood Grant program, hundreds of sets of training materials have been developed since 2003 for the construction industry on avoidance of falls, for industries dealing with hazardous chemicals, and for farmworkers on avoiding injuries when working with farm machinery. Many of the annual grants repeat subject matters covered in training materials previously produced by earlier grantees. The repetitive nature of many of the subject matters suggest that the program is failing to widely disseminate products funded by the earlier grants, and instead simply acting as a funding source for grantees.
Rep. DesJarlais will announce the winning program on December 8th and introduce legislation eliminating that particular government program.
“Since the beginning of the 112th Congress, I’ve been proud to introduce, cosponsor and vote on numerous pieces of commonsense legislation that will cut wasteful government spending in order to give small businesses the confidence they need to start creating jobs,” said Representative DesJarlais. “As a Member of Congress, I believe that the best solutions to our nation’s problems often come directly from the people that we represent. YouCut is an excellent tool in allowing our constituents to get more involved in the process of getting Washington’s spending under control. I look forward to having my constituents in Tennessee’s Fourth Congressional District join Americans across the country in making their voices heard.”
“At a time when our national debt exceeds $15 trillion and Washington borrows more than 40 cents of every dollar it spends, it is more important than ever that we start getting America’s fiscal house in order and cut wasteful spending. YouCut is an innovative program that allows hard-working taxpayers around the country to help choose how Washington cuts wasteful spending and allows them to track the legislative process from start to finish. I applaud Representative DesJarlais for his efforts to keep federal spending in check and leading the YouCut program this week,” said House Majority Leader Eric Cantor.

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