H.R. 3742 (103rd): Welfare Elimination Act of 1994

103rd Congress, 1993–1994. Text as of Jan 26, 1994 (Introduced).

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HR 3742 IH

103d CONGRESS

2d Session

H. R. 3742

To establish a commission to design a plan for transition from certain welfare, job training, and child care programs to new programs providing temporary financial aid and assistance in locating permanent employment.

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

January 26, 1994

Mr. FINGERHUT introduced the following bill; which was referred jointly to the Committees on Ways and Means, Agriculture, and Education and Labor


A BILL

To establish a commission to design a plan for transition from certain welfare, job training, and child care programs to new programs providing temporary financial aid and assistance in locating permanent employment.

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

    This Act may be cited as the ‘Welfare Elimination Act of 1994’.

SEC. 2. ESTABLISHMENT OF COMMISSION TO ELIMINATE WELFARE.

    There is established a commission to be known as the ‘Commission to Eliminate Welfare’ (in this Act referred to as the ‘Commission’).

SEC. 3. DUTIES OF COMMISSION.

    (a) WELFARE AND JOB TRAINING REFORM-

      (1) IN GENERAL- The Commission shall design a replacement for the program of aid to families with dependent children under part A of title IV of the Social Security Act, the food stamp program under the Food Stamp Act of 1977, the programs under the Job Training Partnership Act, and the targeted jobs credit under section 51 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 that is composed of--

        (A) the use of amounts equal to the State and local shares under such programs for education and job training assistance for unemployed individuals in accordance with paragraph (2);

        (B) a temporary emergency assistance program that meets the requirements of paragraph (3);

        (C) such modifications to the program of supplemental security income benefits under title XVI of the Social Security Act as may be necessary to accomplish the goals described in paragraph (4);

        (D) a national service work program that meets the requirements of paragraph (5);

        (E) a targeted job training tax credit that meets the requirements of paragraph (6); and

        (F) an enhanced earned income tax credit that meets the requirements of paragraph (7).

      (2) USE OF STATE AND LOCAL SHARES FOR EDUCATION AND JOB TRAINING ASSISTANCE FOR UNEMPLOYED INDIVIDUALS- Each State and local government is to ensure that amounts equal to the aggregate amounts of State and local shares used to carry out programs specified in the matter preceding subparagraph (A) of paragraph (1) are to be used to provide education and job training assistance to unemployed individuals.

      (3) TEMPORARY EMERGENCY ASSISTANCE PROGRAM- The requirements of this paragraph are as follows:

        (A) ELIGIBILITY FOR BENEFITS- A household is to be eligible for benefits under the program if--

          (i) the total income of the members of the household is less than 50 percent of the poverty line; and

          (ii) the head of the household is not a recipient of supplemental security income benefits under title XVI of the Social Security Act.

        (B) DISREGARD OF SSI RECIPIENTS- Except as provided in subparagraph (A)(ii), recipients of supplemental security income benefits under title XVI of the Social Security Act are to be disregarded in determining the eligibility of a household for benefits, and the amount of benefits payable to the household, under the program.

        (C) AMOUNT OF BENEFITS- Benefits under the program are to be paid to a household in an amount equal to the amount by which 50 percent of the poverty line exceeds the total income of the members of the household.

        (D) DURATION OF BENEFITS-

          (i) IN GENERAL- Subject to clauses (ii) and (iii), benefits under the program are to be provided to a household for not more than 6 months in any 24-month period.

          (ii) EXCEPTION FOR CERTAIN HOUSEHOLDS THAT INCLUDE A NEWBORN BABY OR DISABLED MINOR- A household that meets the requirement of subparagraph (A) is to remain eligible for benefits under the program for so long as--

            (I) the household includes a single parent or guardian of a member of the household who--

(aa) has not attained 3 months of age; or

(bb) is disabled; and

            (II) each member of the household who has not attained 18 years of age is living in a living arrangement supervised by an adult.

          (iii) EXCEPTION FOR CERTAIN FULL-TIME STUDENTS- An individual who has not attained 20 years of age is to remain eligible for benefits under the program for so long as--

            (I) the household of which the individual is a member (but for clause (i)) would be eligible for such benefits; and

            (II) the individual is a full-time student in a secondary school (or in the equivalent level of vocational or technical training).

        (E) POVERTY LINE- As used in this paragraph, the term ‘poverty line’ means, with respect to a household the income official poverty line (as defined by the Office of Management and Budget, and revised annually in accordance with section 673(2) of the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1981) applicable to a family of the same size as the household involved.

      (4) MODIFICATIONS TO SSI PROGRAM- The goals described in this paragraph are as follows:

        (A) INCLUSION OF MINOR CHILDREN OF ELIGIBLE INDIVIDUALS- Expand the program to include benefits for minor children of individuals eligible for such benefits.

        (B) PROVISIONS OF BENEFITS BASED ON HOUSEHOLD SIZE- Provide benefits to a household in an amount that is based on the size of the household.

        (C) REDUCE NEED FOR STATE ASSISTANCE- Ensure that all individuals who are eligible for and have applied for such benefits receive such benefits in a timely manner, and expand the program to the extent necessary to provide benefits to individuals and families who cannot support themselves through work and available benefits under State income assistance programs.

      (5) NATIONAL SERVICE WORK PROGRAM- The requirements of this paragraph are as follows:

        (A) ESTABLISHMENT OF DELIVERY SYSTEM-

          (i) GRANTS TO LOCAL GOVERNMENTS- The Federal government is to provide grants on an annual basis to local governments to provide job training and job placement assistance under the program to unemployed individuals for the purpose of placing such individuals in unsubsidized employment.

          (ii) SUBGRANTS TO SERVICE PROVIDERS- (I) A local government that receives a grant under clause (i) is to use amounts from such grant to provide subgrants on a competitive basis to eligible service providers for the purpose of providing the assistance described under subparagraph (B) to participants.

          (II) For purposes of this paragraph, the term ‘eligible service providers’ includes--

            (aa) existing entities providing services to unemployed individuals under Federal, State, or local law, including those entities providing services under the Job Opportunities and Basic Skills Training Program under part F of title IV of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 681 et seq.) and the Job Training Partnership Act (29 U.S.C. 1501 et seq.); and

            (bb) appropriate nonprofit and for profit organizations.

        (B) JOB TRAINING ASSISTANCE- An eligible service provider that receives a subgrant under subparagraph (A)(ii) is to use amounts from such subgrant to provide the following assistance to participants:

          (i) INITIAL ASSESSMENT- The service provider is to conduct an initial assessment of each participant to determine the level of education and work experience of each such participant. After such assessment, the participant, in consultation with a trained counselor, is to choose to receive either intensive placement assistance under clause (ii) or work/study assistance under clause (iii).

          (ii) INTENSIVE PLACEMENT ASSISTANCE- (I) The service provider is to provide intensive placement assistance to participants for the purpose of preparing participants for and placing participants in unsubsidized employment. Such assistance is to include--

            (aa) training to improve and update the work skills of participants;

            (bb) training to improve and update the job interviewing skills and resume preparation skills of participants;

            (cc) instruction in personal financial management;

            (dd) where appropriate, classes designed to assist participants attain certificates of high school equivalency; and

            (ee) job placement assistance, including assistance provided by a counselor who matches participants with unsubsidized job opportunities based upon the skills of the participant.

          (II) The service provider is to provide, to the extent practicable, 40 hours per week of assistance to a participant under subclause (I) and is to provide compensation to such participant in an amount equal to $4.00 per hour for each such hour that such participant participates in intensive placement under subclause (I).

          (III) The service provider is to provide assistance to a participant under subclause (I) until such participant is placed in unsubsidized employment, or 180 days after the date on which the participant begins receiving assistance under such subclause, whichever occurs first.

          (iii) WORK/STUDY ASSISTANCE- (I) The service provider is to provide work/study assistance to participants for the purpose of preparing such participants for unsubsidized employment. Such assistance is to include--

            (aa) placement in part-time unsubsidized jobs, or if such jobs are not available, placement in part-time subsidized jobs; and

            (bb) educational assistance related to such jobs and to the full-time unsubsidized jobs that such participants obtain after receiving assistance under this subparagraph, including technical training or placement in apprenticeship programs.

          (II) The service provider is to provide, to the extent practicable, 40 hours per week of assistance to a participant under subclause (I) and is to provide compensation to such participant in an amount equal to $4.00 per hour for each such hour that such participant receives such assistance, except that such compensation shall not include amounts received from placement in a part-time subsidized job.

          (III) The service provider is to provide assistance to a participant under subclause (I) until such participant is placed in full-time unsubsidized employment, except that a participant may not receive such assistance for more than a total of 4 years.

          (iv) SUPPORT SERVICES- The service provider is to provide support services to participants receiving assistance under clauses (ii) and (iii). Such services are to include--

            (I) case management and counseling services provided by a case manager, including referrals to appropriate social service agencies and identification of barriers to successful job performance, such as mental illness, learning disabilities, and substance abuse; and

            (II) legal services to assist participants in eliminating barriers to, placement in, and retention of unsubsidized employment.

        (C) PLACEMENT IN PUBLIC SERVICE JOBS- (i) The Federal government is to ensure that each participant who is unable to obtain unsubsidized employment after receiving assistance under subparagraph (B) is placed in a public sector job until such time as the participant obtains such unsubsidized employment.

        (ii) An individual who receives a public sector job under clause (i) is to be paid $4.00 per hour.

        (iii) An individual who receives a public sector job under clause (i) is to be provided ongoing support services in accordance with subparagraph (B)(iv) to ensure that such individual obtains unsubsidized employment.

        (D) CONTINUING SUPPORT SERVICES DURING UNSUBSIDIZED EMPLOYMENT- The Federal government is to ensure that each participant who obtains unsubsidized employment after receiving assistance under subparagraph (B) continues to receive the support services described in subparagraph (B)(iv) for up to 1 year after the date on which the participant receives such employment.

      (6) TARGETED JOB TRAINING TAX CREDIT- The requirements of this paragraph are that employers be provided with a nonrefundable credit against Federal income tax for some portion of the expenses paid by the employer in providing job training.

      (7) ENHANCED EARNED INCOME TAX CREDIT- The requirements of this paragraph are that--

        (A) the earned income credit under section 32 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 be restructured such that--

          (i) for households in which an adult participates in the National Service Work Program, the amount of such credit will, when added to the taxpayer’s earned income, equal 75 percent of the poverty level for such household,

          (ii) for households in which no adult participates in the National Service Work Program and in which there is an adult full-time worker (or the equivalent), the amount of such credit will be the greater of--

            (I) the amount determined under such section 32 without regard to this paragraph, or

            (II) the amount which, when added to the taxpayer’s earned income, will equal 100 percent of the poverty level for such household, and

          (iii) for households in which no adult participates in the National Service Work Program and to which subparagraph (B) does not apply, the amount of such credit will be the amount determined under such section 32 without regard to this paragraph, and

        (B) the earned income credit under such section 32 be paid on a periodic basis during the taxable year other than as provided in section 3507 of such Code.

    (b) CHILD CARE REFORM-

      (1) IN GENERAL- The Commission shall design a program that consolidates existing child care programs under Federal law into a single program under which a household is to be eligible for child care services under the program if the total income of the members of the household is less than 200 percent of the poverty line.

      (2) OTHER REQUIREMENTS- The single program described in paragraph (1)--

        (A) shall include a sliding fee scale that provides for cost sharing by households that receive child care services under the program; and

        (B) shall, to the extent practicable, be coordinated with appropriate State and local programs providing child care services.

      (3) POVERTY LINE DEFINED- As used in this subsection, the term ‘poverty line’ means, with respect to a household the income official poverty line (as defined by the Office of Management and Budget, and revised annually in accordance with section 673(2) of the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1981) applicable to a family of the same size as the household involved.

SEC. 4. MEMBERSHIP.

    (a) NUMBER; APPOINTMENT- The Commission shall be composed of 23 members, as follows:

      (1) The Secretary of Labor.

      (2) The Secretary of Health and Human Services.

      (3) The Secretary of Housing and Urban Development.

      (4) The Secretary of Education.

      (5) The Secretary of Agriculture.

      (6) The Secretary of the Treasury.

      (7) The Secretary of Veterans Affairs.

      (8) 4 Members of the House of Representatives, 2 appointed by the majority leader of the House of Representatives, and 2 appointed by the minority leader of the House of Representatives.

      (9) 4 Members of the Senate, 2 appointed by the majority leader of the Senate, and 2 appointed by the minority leader of the Senate.

      (10) 6 officials of State and local governments with expertise in welfare, education, or training issues, appointed by the President.

      (11) 2 individuals with expertise in job placement for persons receiving cash assistance from the Federal Government or a State government, appointed by the President.

    (b) TERM OF OFFICE- Each member of the Commission shall be appointed for the life of the Commission.

    (c) APPOINTMENT DEADLINE- All appointments to the Commission shall be made not more than 60 days after the date of the enactment of this Act.

    (d) VACANCIES- A vacancy on the Commission shall be filled in the manner in which the original appointment was made.

    (e) CHAIRPERSON- The Secretary of Labor shall serve as the chairperson of the Commission (in this Act referred to as the ‘Chairperson’).

    (f) COMPENSATION-

      (1) GENERALLY NONE- Except as provided in paragraph (2), the members of the Commission may not receive pay, allowances, or benefits by reason of their service on the Commission.

      (2) TRAVEL EXPENSES ALLOWED- Each Commission member shall receive travel expenses, including per diem in lieu of subsistence, in accordance with sections 5702 and 5703 of title 5, United States Code.

SEC. 5. STAFF; EXPERTS AND CONSULTANTS.

    (a) STAFF OF FEDERAL AGENCIES- Upon request of the Chairperson, the head of any Federal agency may detail, on a reimbursable basis, any of the personnel of that agency to the Commission to assist the Commission in carrying out its duties under this Act.

    (b) EXPERTS AND CONSULTANTS- The Commission may procure temporary or intermittent services under section 3109(b) of title 5, United States Code.

SEC. 6. PROCEDURE OF COMMISSION.

    (a) MEETINGS- The Commission shall meet at the call of the Chairperson or a majority of the members of the Commission.

    (b) QUORUM- A majority of the members of the Commission shall constitute a quorum but a lesser number may hold hearings.

    (c) ACTION- The Commission may act only by a vote of a majority of the members of the Commission.

SEC. 7. POWERS OF COMMISSION.

    (a) HEARINGS AND SESSIONS- The Commission may hold the hearings, sit and act at the times and places, take the testimony, and receive the evidence the Commission considers appropriate to carry out this Act.

    (b) POWERS OF MEMBERS AND AGENTS- Any member or agent of the Commission may, if authorized by the Commission, take any action that the Commission is authorized to take by this section.

    (c) OBTAINING OFFICIAL DATA- On request of the Chairperson of the Commission, the head of a Federal department or agency shall furnish to the Commission such information as the Chairperson may request to enable the Commission to carry out this Act, unless the release of the information is prohibited by law.

    (d) GIFTS- The Commission may accept, use, and dispose of gifts of services or property, both real and personal, for the purpose of aiding the work of the Commission, except that gifts of money and proceeds from sales of property received as gifts shall be deposited in the Treasury of the United States and credited as miscellaneous receipts.

    (e) MAILS- The Commission may use the United States mails in the same manner and under the same conditions as other Federal agencies.

    (f) SUPPORT SERVICES- On request of the Commission, the head of a Federal department or agency may make available to the Commission any facility or service of the agency to assist the Commission in carrying out the duties of the Commission under this Act.

SEC. 8. REPORT.

    Within 6 months after the date a majority of the members of the Commission have been appointed, the Commission shall submit to the Congress a report that describes in detail the programs, modifications, and tax credits designed under section 3(a), and contains recommendations for legislation to enact such programs, modifications, and tax credits. Such legislation will demonstrate that the costs of any new programs recommended herein are offset by the costs of programs to be eliminated by the terms of the legislation.

SEC. 9. TERMINATION OF COMMISSION.

    The Commission shall terminate upon the adjournment sine die of the Congress during which the report required by section 8 is submitted.