H.R. 3829 (104th): Welfare Reform Reconciliation Act of 1996

Jul 17, 1996 (104th Congress, 1995–1996)
Died (Referred to Committee)
John Kasich
Representative for Ohio's 12th congressional district
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Last Updated
Jul 17, 1996
811 pages
Related Bills
H.R. 3734 (Related)
Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996

Signed by the President
Aug 22, 1996


This bill was introduced on July 17, 1996, in a previous session of Congress, but was not enacted.

Introduced Jul 17, 1996
Referred to Committee Jul 17, 1996
Full Title

To provide for reconciliation pursuant to section 201(a)(1) of the concurrent resolution on the budget for fiscal year 1997.


No summaries available.


House Agriculture

House Education and the Workforce

House Energy and Commerce

House Budget

House Ways and Means

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Library of Congress Summary

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Title I - Committee on Agriculture Subtitle A: Food Stamp Program Subtitle B: Commodity Distribution Programs Subtitle C: Electronic Benefit Transfer Systems Title II: Committee on Commerce Subtitle A: Involvement of Commerce Committee in Federal Government Position Reductions Subtitle B: Restricting Public Benefits for Aliens Subtitle C: Energy Assistance Subtitle D: Abstinence Education Title III: Committee on Economic and Educational Opportunities Subtitle A: Child Care Subtitle B: Child Nutrition Programs Subtitle C: Related Provisions Title IV: Committee on Ways and Means Subtitle A: Block Grants for Temporary Assistance for Needy Families Subtitle B: Supplemental Security Income Subtitle C: Child Support Subtitle D: Restricting Welfare and Public Benefits for Aliens Subtitle E: Reform of Public Housing Subtitle F: Child Protection Block Grant Program and Foster Care, Adoption Assistance, and Independent Living Programs Subtitle G: Reductions in Federal Government Positions Subtitle H: Miscellaneous Welfare Reform Reconciliation Act of 1996
Title I - Committee on Agriculture
Food Stamp Reform and Commodity Distribution Act of 1996 -
Subtitle A - Food Stamp Program
Amends the Food Stamp Act of 1977 (Act) to establish a maximum 24-month food stamp program (program) authorization period for households whose adult members are elderly or disabled.
Section 1012 -
Expands the definition of "coupon."
Section 1013 -
Treats children who are themselves parents living with their children and married children living with their spouses as part of an existing household rather than as a separate household.
Section 1014 -
Authorizes States to establish additional criteria for separate household determinations.
Section 1015 -
Revises thrifty food plan adjustment requirements.
Section 1016 -
Revises the definition of "homeless individual" to limit the length of time a person may temporarily live in another person's residence.
Section 1018 -
Revises household income exclusion provisions regarding: (1) students; and (2) Federal energy assistance.
Section 1020 -
Revises household income deduction provisions regarding: (1) standard deductions; (2) earned income; (3) dependent care; (4) child support payments; (5) homeless shelter assistance; (6) excess medical expenses; and (7) excess shelter expenses.
Section 1021 -
Eliminates specified excludable auto value increases and establishes the maximum excludable auto value at $4600.
Section 1022 -
Includes as household income third party payments for transitional housing for the homeless.
Section 1023 -
Increases penalties for certain program violations.
Section 1024 -
Disqualifies permanently an individual convicted of specified coupon violations.
Section 1025 -
Revises work requirement and employment and training provisions. Extends employment and training funding authorizations.
Section 1028 -
Authorizes comparable program disqualification based upon means-tested public assistance disqualification.
Section 1029 -
Disqualifies for ten years an individual who participates in the program in two or more States.
Section 1030 -
Disqualifies a fleeing felon from program participation.
Section 1031 -
Requires at State option: (1) cooperation with child support agencies in order to maintain program eligibility; and (2) program disqualification for child support arrears.
Section 1033 -
Defines "work program." Makes nonexempt persons ineligible for program benefits if during the preceding 12-month period they received food stamps for four months or more without working at least 20 hours per week, or participating in a workfare program. Sets forth exempted persons and situations.
Section 1034 -
Directs States to implement electronic benefit transfer systems.
Section 1035 -
Eliminates annual minimum allotment adjustments.
Section 1037 -
Authorizes a combined allotment for expedited households.
Section 1038 -
Authorizes program reductions for failure to comply with a means-tested public assistance reduction requirement.
Section 1039 -
Authorizes program assistance for households residing in a homeless shelter or drug or alcohol treatment center.
Section 1040 -
Provides that no food store or wholesale food concern be approved for program participation without a prior visit by a Department of Agriculture employee or designated State or local official.
Section 1041 -
Directs the Secretary of Agriculture (Secretary) to establish authorization periods for retail food stores and wholesale food concerns to redeem food stamps or benefits through an electronic benefit transfer system.
Section 1042 -
Includes income and sales tax information among the types of eligibility verification information that may be requested.
Section 1043 -
Establishes a six-month reapplication waiting period for a store that does not meet participation requirements.
Section 1044 -
Revises: (1) food stamp office operating provisions; and (2) expedited coupon service requirements.
Section 1045 -
Eliminates certain certification personnel training requirements.
Section 1046 -
Provides for the exchange of information with law enforcement or Immigration and Naturalization Service personnel.
Section 1048 -
Authorizes a family to withdraw a fair hearing request.
Section 1049 -
Permits States to use income, and immigration eligibility verification systems other than a specified system under the Social Security Act (SSA).
Section 1050 -
Provides for disqualification of a store: (1) that knowingly submits a falsified application; and (2) that is disqualified from the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC).
Section 1052 -
Directs program overissuances to be collected by: (1) allotment reduction; (2) unemployment compensation withholding; or (3) Federal pay or Federal income tax refund recovery.
Section 1053 -
Authorizes suspension of a store pending administrative and judicial review. (States that the Secretary shall not be liable for lost sales during such period.)
Section 1054 -
Establishes criminal forfeiture penalties for specified program violations.
Section 1055 -
Terminates Federal matching requirements for program recruitment activities.
Section 1057 -
Authorizes States to use funds otherwise available to a participating household for a work supplementation or support program. Sets forth program provisions.
Section 1058 -
Authorizes waiver of program requirements as necessary to conduct related pilot projects. Authorizes appropriations.
Section 1060 -
Authorizes States to carry out private sector employment initiatives. Sets forth program provisions.
Section 1061 -
Authorizes appropriations for program operations.
Section 1062 -
Authorizes States to carry out a Simplified Food Stamp Program in lieu of existing program requirements. Sets forth program provisions.
Section 1063 -
Establishes an optional State food assistance block grant program in lieu of the food stamp program. Sets forth program provisions.
Section 1064 -
Directs the Secretary to conduct a study of the use of food stamps for vitamin and mineral purchases.
Section 1066 -
Authorizes States to consider all or part of the income and financial resources of a person rendered ineligible for program participation in determining the eligibility of such person's household.
Section 1068 -
Expresses the sense of the House Committee on Agriculture that reductions in outlays resulting from this title shall not be considered for certain budget reduction purposes under the Balanced Budget and Emergency Deficit Control Act of 1985 (Gramm-Rudman-Hollings Act).
Subtitle B - Commodity Distribution Programs
Amends the Emergency Food Assistance Act of 1983 to combine the emergency food assistance program with the soup kitchen-food bank program. Amends the Act to direct the Secretary to purchase commodities for such combined programs.
Section 1072 -
Amends the Charitable Assistance and Food Bank Act of 1987 to repeal the food bank demonstration project.
Section 1073 -
Makes conforming and technical amendments to the Hunger Prevention Act of 1988 and the Food, Agriculture, Conservation, and Trade Act of 1990.
Subtitle C - Electronic Benefit Transfer Systems
Amends the Electronic Fund Transfer Act to exempt (with exceptions) State and local government electronic benefit transfer systems from specified provisions of such Act.
Title II - Committee on Commerce
Subtitle A - Involvement of Commerce Committee in Federal Government Position Reductions
Deems that any provision of law with respect to consultation with a relevant committee of Congress on reductions in Federal Government positions refers to the Committee on Commerce of the House of Representatives, to the extent that the matter falls within such Committee's jurisdiction.
Subtitle B - Restricting Public Benefits for Aliens
Denies Federal public benefits (except certain emergency medical services and public health assistance) to non-qualified aliens.
Section 2102 -
Makes qualified aliens ineligible (with limited exceptions) for Federal means-tested public benefits for the first five years after U.S. entry.
Section 2112 -
Requires the Attorney General to promulgate regulations requiring verification that an applicant for a restricted Federal public benefit is a qualified alien eligible to receive it. Authorizes appropriations.
Subtitle C - Energy Assistance
Amends the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Act of 1981 to repeal certain deeming requirements with respect to home energy assistance payments not considered household income for purposes of the excess shelter expense deduction under the food stamp program.
Subtitle D - Abstinence Education
Amends SSA title V (Maternal and Child Health Services Block Grant) to increase the authorization of appropriations to enable each State to provide sexual abstinence education focused on those groups most likely to bear children out-of- wedlock.
Title III - Committee on Economic and Educational Opportunities
Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Act of 1996 -
Subtitle A - Child Care
Child Care and Development Block Grant Amendments of 1996 - Revises and extends through FY 2002 the authorization of appropriations for the Child Care and Development Block Grant Act of 1990 (the Act, for purposes of this title). Sets forth goals for State child care assistance.
Section 3103 -
Amends SSA title IV part A (formerly Aid to Families With Dependent Children (AFDC), but replaced by this Act with Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)) to entitle each State to payments for providing child care assistance.
Section 3105 -
Revises State application and plan requirements with respect to consumer education information, State licensing compliance, meeting the needs of TANF recipients (especially those attempting through work activities to leave the assistance program) and those at risk of becoming dependent on assistance, and assistance for certain low-income working families.
Section 3107 -
Reduces from 20 percent to four percent the minimum amount of certain funds available for State activities to improve the quality of child care, limited to: (1) comprehensive consumer education to parents and the public; (2) activities increasing parental choice; and (3) activities designed to improve child care quality and availability.
Section 3108 -
Repeals a requirement that States expend a specified minimum amount of reserved funds for early childhood development and before- and after-school services.
Section 3113 -
Reduces the allotment reserved for Indian tribes or tribal organizations from three percent to one percent. Prescribes guidelines for the use of such allotment for facility repair and construction.
Section 3115 -
Repeals: (1) the Child Development Associate Scholarship Assistance Act of 1985; (2) the State Dependent Care Development Grants Act; (3) specified programs under title X (Programs of National Significance) of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965; (4) the Native Hawaiian Family-based Education Centers program under the Native Hawaiian Education Act; and (5) the AFDC and Transitional Child Care programs and the At-Risk Child Care program under SSA title IV.
Subtitle B - Child Nutrition Programs
Amends the National School Lunch Act (NSLA) to repeal specified authorities and requirements for the school lunch and related programs, including:
(1) State educational authority to use resources from the nutrition and education (NET) program;
(2) prohibition of State imposition of teaching personnel and curriculum requirements at any school;
(3) certain demonstration grants to private nonprofit organizations or educational institutions for elementary school curriculum food and nutrition projects;
(4) aspects of summer food service programs, reducing payment rates and daily meals at camps, reducing the National Youth Sports Program, and revising nutritional standards compliance requirements;
(5) certain commodity distribution program requirements, including State Advisory Councils;
(6) expansion of the child care food program;
(7) adult care food aid to adult day care centers and services for persons over 60;
(8) certain pilot projects, including one for paperwork reduction; and
(9) an information clearinghouse.
Section 3201 -
Includes in the definition of child any individual with one or more mental or physical disabilities, regardless of age, who attends a specified type of institution, or any nonresidential public or nonprofit private school of high school grade or under, in order to participate in a school program for such individuals.
Section 3202 -
Revises nutritional and other program requirements.
Section 3205 -
Prohibits, in general, any waiver that will increase Federal costs.
Section 3221 -
Amends the Child Nutrition Act of 1966 (CNA) to revise the school breakfast program: (1) eliminating Federal assistance for food preparation training and program expansion and start-up costs; (2) repealing certain authorities and requirements relating to State administrative expenses (SAE); (3) repealing the prohibition against State imposition of teaching personnel and curriculum requirements at any school; and (4) repealing the program of cash grants for nutrition education.
Section 3229 -
Revises the special supplemental nutrition program for women, infants, and children (WIC), among other things repealing specified requirements and changing from mandatory to optional: (1) drug abuse education; and (2) provision of WIC information in languages other than English.
Section 3231 -
Makes the Nutrition and Education program discretionary rather than mandatory. Authorizes appropriations.
Section 3241 -
Directs the Secretary of Agriculture to develop proposed changes to the regulations under the school lunch program and the summer food service program under NSLA and the school breakfast program under CNA, to simplify and coordinate those programs into a comprehensive meal program.
Subtitle C - Related Provisions
Requires the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) to produce and publish specified types of data relating to the incidence of poverty in the United States at least every two years. Authorizes appropriations.
Section 3302 -
Expresses the sense of the Congress that this title, and the amendments it makes, should not result in an increase in the number of children who are hungry, homeless, poor, or medically uninsured.
Section 3303 -
Requires the Congress, in the event that an increase does result by the end of the FY 1997, to: (1) revisit the provisions and amendments of this title which caused such increase; and (2) as soon as practicable thereafter, pass legislation that stops the continuation of such increase.
Title IV - Committee on Ways and Means
Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Act of 1996 (sic) -
Subtitle A - Block Grants for Temporary Assistance for Needy Families
Expresses the sense of the Congress that prevention of out-of-wedlock pregnancy and reduction in out-of-wedlock births are important Government interests.
Section 4103 -
Replaces the current Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) program under part A of title IV of the Social Security Act (SSA), as well as the Job Opportunities and Basic Skills Training (JOBS) Program under part F of that title, with a single, combined program of block grants to the States for operating statewide temporary assistance (TANF) programs with certain mandatory work, education, and job preparation requirements for needy families either already with or expecting a child, which are designed to assist such families in becoming self-sufficient.
Limits such families generally to no more than five years of TANF cash assistance, with certain exceptions for minor children, battered family members, and hardship situations.
Requires that families include either a minor child who resides with a custodial parent or other adult caretaker relative or a pregnant individual in order to receive TANF assistance.
Prohibits additional cash TANF assistance for children born into families already on TANF assistance (with certain exceptions for:
(1) children born into families with no other children;
(2) vouchers provided in lieu of cash benefits that are only good for particular goods and services suitable for child care; and
(3) children born as a result of rape or incest), unless the particular State exempts itself from such prohibition.
Denies TANF assistance in cases where an individual family member is a fugitive felon or a probation or parole violator, and in certain other specified situations as well.
Requires States receiving TANF grants to ensure that, if any individual or family becomes ineligible to receive TANF cash assistance as a result of the collection or increased collection of child or spousal support under SSA title IV part D (Child Support and Establishment of Paternity), having received such assistance in at least three of the six months immediately preceding the month in which such ineligibility begins, the individual or each individual family member shall be eligible for Medicaid assistance for a four month period.
Requires States receiving TANF grants to ensure that:
(1) certain other families becoming ineligible for TANF cash assistance due to increased earnings from employment receive Medicaid assistance during the immediately succeeding 12-month period; and
(2) individuals who would be eligible for cash assistance under the State's SSA title IV part A (AFDC) plan if such plan were still in effect are eligible for medical assistance under the State's Medicaid program.
Requires the State agency responsible for administering the State's TANF program to make an initial assessment of the skills, prior work experience, and employability of each TANF recipient who has attained 18 years of age or not completed high school.
Authorizes the State agency to develop an individual responsibility plan in consultation with the individual outlining his or her obligations and the services the State intends to provide for the individual to attain self-sufficiency.
Allows States receiving TANF grants used to provide assistance for any individual who is receiving benefits, or on behalf of whom benefits are paid, under a State old-age, foster care, or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) plan to disregard such assistance payment in determining the amount of TANF assistance to be provided under the State TANF program to the family of which the individual is a member.
Requires, in addition, certain adult-supervised living arrangements for unmarried teenage parents.
Provides for the exchange of certain TANF program information with law enforcement agencies under specified conditions.
Establishes penalties for States and individual families for specified grant and program violations, through reduced grants and assistance payments, respectively, allowing States to terminate such payments to certain adult family members who refuse to:
(1) engage in work, educational, or job preparation activities (required program activities); or
(2) cooperate with the State in establishing paternity or obtaining child support unless the member qualifies for a good cause or other exception.
Provides for a separate reduction in State family assistance grant payments for States failing to comply with Federal requirements under SSA title IV part D (Child Support and Establishment of Paternity) pertaining to paternity establishment and child support enforcement.
Sets forth the mechanism for State appeal of Federal adverse decisions with respect to State plans or imposition of penalties, providing for advance notification of any program violation and the opportunity for a State to correct it before any such penalty is imposed.
Limits the amount of any penalty reduction in the State's quarterly family assistance grant payment.
Expresses the sense of the Congress that State TANF programs should:
(1) assign the highest priority to requiring adults in two-parent families and in single-parent families with older preschool or school-age children to be engaged in required program activities; and
(2) require noncustodial, nonsupporting parents under age 18 to fulfill community work obligations and attend appropriate parenting or money management classes after school.
Specifies State TANF plan contents, including certain certifications by the State that it will operate child support enforcement and protection programs, in order for it to be eligible (according to certain other criteria as well) to receive Federal grants for its TANF programs (family assistance grants).
Allows the States to decide in their TANF plans:
(1) whether or not they intend on providing TANF assistance to aliens; and
(2) how to treat families moving interstate.
Provides for:
(1) the allowable uses of quarterly family assistance grants, including for family planning services and assistance to low income households in meeting home heating and cooling costs (but prohibits grant use for medical services generally);
(2) additional grants to States as rewards for reductions in illegitimate births and for high performance under the TANF program, as well as supplemental grants to certain States for population increases; and
(3) a Contingency Fund for State Welfare Programs (Contingency Fund) in the Treasury for payments to certain eligible States. Provides for supplemental grants for required program activities.
Makes applicable appropriations for such grants and the Contingency Fund. Sets up a Federal loan program for State TANF programs for anti-fraud and other specified activities, making necessary appropriations.
Outlines specific program data collection and reporting requirements, as well as certain research, evaluation, and study requirements.
Makes applicable appropriations.
Provides for direct funding, by way of three-year tribal family assistance grants, to Indian tribes (with a special rule for Indian tribes in Alaska) with approved tribal family assistance plans.
Authorizes the Secretary of HHS to implement and evaluate demonstrations of innovative and promising strategies which:
(1) provide one-time capital funds to establish, expand, or replicate programs;
(2) test performance-based grant-to-loan financing in which programs meeting performance targets receive grants while programs not meeting such targets repay funding on a prorated basis; and
(3) test strategies in multiple States and types of communities.
Directs the Bureau of the Census to expand the Survey of Income and Program Participation to obtain information that will enable interested persons to evaluate the impact of the changes made by this title on a random national sample of recipients of assistance under State programs.
Provides for the treatment of existing State AFDC (welfare reform) waivers in effect on the enactment of this Act and those granted subsequently.
Retains the HHS Assistant Secretary for Family Support as the official responsible for administering TANF programs.
Eliminates certain child care programs under SSA title IV part A, including the at-risk child care program.
Section 4104 -
Allows States to contract with charitable, religious, and private organizations to provide services and administer programs established or modified under titles I, II, and VI of this Act. Prohibits the expenditure of financial assistance for sectarian worship, instruction, or proselytization.
Section 4105 -
Directs the Secretary of Commerce to expand census data collection efforts to enable the Bureau of the Census to collect statistically significant data on grandparent caregivers.
Section 4106 -
Requires an HHS report to the Congress on State automated data processing systems used in administering TANF programs to determine what would be required to establish a system for tracking public program participants and checking case records to determine if such participants are participating in public programs of two or more States.
Section 4107 -
Details requirements for a similar report on alternative outcomes measures for evaluating the success of the States in moving individuals off welfare through employment.
Section 4108 -
Makes conforming amendments to SSA, the Food Stamp Act of 1977, and related provisions of other specified Federal laws.
Section 4111 -
Directs the Commissioner of Social Security (Commissioner) to: (1) develop a prototype counterfeit-resistant social security card; and (2) study and report to the Congress on improving the social security card application process.
Section 4112 -
Requires any organization accepting Federal funds under this title or any amendments made by it (other than funds provided under SSA titles IV, XVI, or XX) to disclose that fact in any communication it makes that in any way intends to promote public support or opposition to any Federal, State, or local government policy through any broadcasting station, periodical, or other specified type of general public advertising.
Makes any organization failing to make such a disclosure ineligible to receive Federal funds under this Act.
Section 4113 -
Amends the Family Support Act of 1988 to remove the "demonstration" status of the Job Opportunities for Certain Low-Income Individuals (JOLI) program and give it an increased annual authorization.
Section 4115 -
Makes certain conforming amendments to Medicaid to provide for the continued application of standards and methodologies under TANF for certain individuals.
Subtitle B - Supplemental Security Income
Amends SSA title XVI to deny SSI for ten years to individuals found to have fraudulently misrepresented residence in order to obtain benefits simultaneously in two or more States. Denies SSI for fugitive felons and probation and parole violators. Provides for the exchange of certain SSI information with law enforcement agencies under specified conditions.
Section 4203 -
Revises the treatment afforded prisoners with regard to SSI and OASDI (Old Age, Survivors and Disability Insurance) benefits, among other changes:
(1) eliminating the OASDI requirement that confinement stem from a crime punishable by imprisonment for more than one year; and
(2) authorizing the Commissioner to enter into an agreement with any interested State or local correctional institutions for monthly identification reports in order to enforce respective benefit limitations, and pay them a specified fee with regard to each SSI- or OASDI-eligible inmate identified who becomes ineligible for respective benefits as a result of such reporting.
Requires the Commissioner to study and report to the Congress on other specified potential improvements in the collection of information respecting public inmates.
Requires an additional report to the Congress on the institutions not providing certain information to the Commissioner.
Section 4204 -
Makes certain changes respecting the effective date of applications for SSI benefits.
Section 4211 -
Revises the rules with respect to childhood eligibility, with corresponding changes to childhood SSI regulations modifying the medical criteria for evaluation of mental and emotional disorders, and discontinuing the use of individualized functional assessments for children.
Modifies medical improvement review standards, specifically dividing their applicability to, and creating separate criteria for, individuals aged 18 or older, and individuals under age 18, respectively.
Provides that no individual under the age of 18 who engages in substantial gainful activity may be considered to be disabled.
Section 4212 -
Provides that at least once every three years the Commissioner shall review the continued SSI eligibility of each individual who has not attained age 18 and is eligible for such benefits by reason of an impairment (or combination of impairments) which is likely to improve (or, at the Commissioner's option, is unlikely to improve).
Requires a representative payee of a recipient whose case is so reviewed to present, at the time of review, evidence demonstrating that the recipient is, and has been, receiving treatment, to the extent considered medically necessary and available, for the condition which was the basis for providing benefits under the SSI program.
Provides that if the representative payee refuses to comply without good cause with such requirement, the Commissioner shall, if in the individual's best interest, promptly suspend payment of benefits to the representative payee, and provide for payment of benefits to an alternative representative payee or, if the interest of the individual would be served thereby, to the individual.
Provides that if an individual is eligible for SSI benefits by reason of disability for the month preceding the month in which the individual attains age 18, the Commissioner shall redetermine such eligibility:
(1) during the one-year period beginning on the individual's 18th birthday; and
(2) by applying the criteria used in determining the initial eligibility for applicants who have attained age 18.
Specifies requirements governing continuing disability reviews for low-birth-weight babies.
Section 4213 -
Revises provisions regarding the disposal of resources for less than fair market value by certain individuals and appropriate notification of Medicaid. Provides for the treatment of assets held in trust by individuals who have not attained age 18 and any earnings resulting from such trust.
Requires representative payees of eligible individuals below age 18 to establish financial institution accounts on their behalf into which SSI payments shall be paid.
Allows representative payees to use funds in the account to pay for certain allowable expenses.
Directs the Commissioner to establish a system for accountability monitoring whereby a representative payee shall report on activities respecting funds in the account.
Section 4214 -
Reduces cash SSI payments to institutionalized children whose medical costs are covered by private insurance.
Section 4221 -
Provides for installment payment of large amounts of past-due SSI benefits, and the recovery of SSI overpayments from social security benefits.
Section 4225 -
Repeals maintenance of effort requirements applicable to optional State programs for supplementation of SSI benefits.
Section 4231 -
Requires the Commissioner to prepare an annual report for the President and the Congress on the SSI program, and make appropriate arrangements for a study of the disability determination process under SSA titles II and XVI for any needed changes.
Section 4233 -
Outlines the requirements for a General Accounting Office study and report on the impact of this subtitle on the SSI program and on the extra expenses incurred by families of children receiving benefits under such program that are not covered by other Federal, State, or local programs.
Section 4241 -
Establishes the National Commission on the Future of Disability to develop and carry out a comprehensive study of all matters related to the nature, purpose, and adequacy of all Federal programs serving individuals with disabilities in order to develop appropriate recommendations for any needed legislation or administrative action. Authorizes appropriations.
Subtitle C - Child Support
Amends part D (Child Support and Establishment of Paternity) of SSA title IV to require State plans for child and spousal support to provide: (1) certain services relating to paternity establishment or enforcement of child support obligations; and (2) continuation of services for families ceasing to receive AFDC.
Section 4302 -
Revises payment distribution guidelines for support obligations collected by the State on behalf of a family.
Section 4303 -
Requires State plans to establish procedural guidelines for: (1) privacy safeguards regarding paternity and child support actions; and (2) notification to services applicants or recipients of all proceedings and orders affecting child support obligations.
Section 4311 -
Mandates that single statewide automated data systems include a State case registry containing records of: (1) each case in which services are provided by the State agency; and (2) each support order established on or after a specified date. Permits the linking of local registries.
Section 4312 -
Requires State plans to include a centralized, automated unit for the collection and disbursement of support payments.
Permits the unit to be established by linking local disbursement units through an automated information network if the Secretary agrees that it will not cost more or take more time to establish or operate than a centralized system.
Expresses the sense of the Congress that in determining whether to comply with the Social Security Act by either establishing a single, centralized unit for support payment collection and disbursement, or by linking together automation local units, a State should choose the method of compliance which best meets the needs of parents, employers, and children.
Section 4313 -
Requires State plans to: (1) provide for a State-operated and automated State Directory of New Hires containing prescribed information furnished by employers on new personnel; and (2) transmit such information to the National Directory of New Hires.
Section 4314 -
Requires States to have statutorily prescribed procedures: (1) for mandatory income withholding for support payments subject to enforcement; and (2) under which wages of a person with a support obligation imposed by a child support order issued before October 1, 1996, shall become subject to withholding if arrearages occur, without the need for a judicial or administrative hearing. Revises the procedural guidelines for income withholding for child support enforcement.
Section 4315 -
Requires States to have statutorily prescribed procedures to ensure that Federal and State agencies conducting income-withholding activities have access to State locator systems for motor vehicle or law enforcement purposes.
Section 4316 -
Revises the Federal Parent Locator Service to provide for additional information which may be transmitted to locate individuals and assets for purposes of:
(1) establishing parentage;
(2) establishing, setting the amount of, modifying, or enforcing child support obligations; and
(3) enforcing child custody or visitation orders.
Directs the HHS Secretary to establish in the Federal Parent Locator Service an automated Federal Case Registry of Child Support Orders and an automated National Directory of New Hires. Requires the Secretaries of Labor and of HHS to jointly develop cost-effective methods of accessing information in the various State directories of new hires and the National Directory of New Hires (established under this Act).
Section 4317 -
Requires States to have statutorily prescribed procedures requiring recordation on such documents of the Social Security number of: (1) specified driver's, marriage, occupational, and professional license applicants; (2) individuals subject to certain domestic relations orders; and (3) deceased persons (on death records).
Section 4321 -
Requires each State to have the Uniform Interstate Family Support Act in effect as of January 1, 1998. Amends the Federal judicial code to revise the procedures for the court to apply when determining which State order to recognize for purposes of continuing, exclusive jurisdiction and enforcement for child support orders.
Section 4323 -
Requires States to have statutorily prescribed procedures requiring: (1) expedited administrative enforcement in interstate cases and support orders; and (2) expedited administrative and judicial procedures for establishing paternity and enforcing support obligations.
Section 4331 -
Revises the guidelines for State laws governing paternity establishment. Requires State procedures under which the name of the father shall be included on the birth certificate only: (1) if the mother and father have signed a voluntary acknowledgement of paternity; or (2) pursuant to a judicial or administrative order.
Section 4333 -
Requires State plans for child and spousal support to provide that the State agency administering the plan will make a determination as to whether a program recipient is cooperating in good faith with State efforts to establish paternity and secure support.
Section 4341 -
Directs the Secretary to develop a new incentive system to replace the current one. Revises the guidelines for Federal performance-based incentive payments to the States for effective child support enforcement programs.
Section 4342 -
Requires a State plan for child and spousal support to include prescribed procedures for State reviews and audits. Revises the guidelines for Federal evaluation and audit of State programs governing paternity, child and spousal support, and parent location.
Section 4344 -
Revises the automated data processing requirements for State plans to mandate a single statewide automated data processing and information retrieval system which can perform specified tasks.
Section 4345 -
Makes funds available to the Secretary for: (1) training of Federal and State staff, research and demonstration programs, and special projects of regional and national significance; and (2) operation of the Federal Parent Locator Service.
Section 4347 -
Requires State plans for child and spousal support to require procedures to ensure that any person delinquent in child support payments is liable to the State for a penalty of ten percent of the amount in arrears.
Section 4351 -
Revises the requirements for State plan procedures for the review and adjustment of support orders.
Section 4352 -
Amends the Fair Credit Reporting Act to authorize a consumer agency to furnish a consumer report: (1) in response to a request by a governmental child support enforcement agency; or (2) to the State administrative agency which sets child support awards.
Section 4353 -
Shields a depository institution from Federal or State liability for disclosing any financial record of an individual to a State child support enforcement agency. Prohibits such agency from disclosing such a financial record except for the purpose of, and to the extent necessary in, establishing, modifying, or enforcing a child support obligation. Sets forth civil penalties for any person knowingly or negligently violating such prohibition.
Section 4361 -
Amends Internal Revenue Code procedural guidelines for the collection of arrearages to provide that no additional fee may be assessed for adjustments to a previously certified amount.
Section 4362 -
Amends part D (Child Support and Establishment of Paternity) of SSA title IV to revise procedural guidelines for: (1) consent by the United States to income withholding, garnishment, and similar proceedings for enforcement of child support and alimony obligations of current and retired Federal employees; and (2) enforcement of child support obligations of members of the Armed Forces.
Section 4364 -
Requires a State plan for child and spousal support to have in effect the Uniform Fraudulent Conveyance Act of 1981, the Uniform Fraudulent Transfer Act of 1984, or a similar law, as well as certain procedures governing the voiding of fraudulent transfers by a child support debtor.
Section 4365 -
Requires a State plan for child and spousal support to include specified procedures:
(1) to ensure that persons owing past-due support work or participate in work activities the court deems appropriate;
(2) to report to credit bureaus the name of the parent in arrears for child support;
(3) to provide for liens against real and personal property for the support arrearages of a non-custodial parent; and
(4) to implement the restriction of driver's, professional, occupational, and recreational licenses of individuals owing support arrearages.
Section 4370 -
Requires the Secretary of State to deny, revoke, or limit a passport upon certification of nonpayment of child support.
Section 4371 -
Authorizes the Secretary of State to negotiate reciprocal agreements with foreign nations: (1) regarding international enforcement of child support obligations; and (2) designating the Department of Health and Human Services as the central authority for such enforcement.
Section 4372 -
Requires States to have statutorily prescribed procedures under which a State agency shall enter into agreements with financial institutions doing business within the State to develop and operate a data match system to provide identifying information for each non-custodial parent targeted by the State who maintains an account at the institution, and to encumber or surrender such parent's assets at the institution pursuant to a lien or levy.
Section 4373 -
Requires States to have statutorily prescribed procedures under which child support orders relating to the child of minor parents, where the custodial parents are receiving assistance, are enforceable against the child's paternal or maternal grandparents.
Section 4374 -
Amends Federal bankruptcy law and the Social Security Act to declare a debt for child support nondischargeable in bankruptcy.
Section 4376 -
Amends the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) to include within the definition of medical child support order an order issued through a State administrative process.
Section 4377 -
Amends SSA title IV part D to mandate statutorily prescribed procedures under which all enforced child support orders shall include a provision for the health care coverage of the child.
Section 4381 -
Amends SSA title IV part D to prescribe guidelines under which the Administration for Children and Families shall make grants to enable States to establish and administer access and visitation programs to facilitate non-custodial parents' access to their children.
Subtitle D - Restricting Welfare and Public Benefits for Aliens
Prohibits Federal public benefits to aliens who are not qualified aliens. Excludes from such prohibition: (1) emergency medical services; (2) certain emergency disaster relief; (3) public health immunizations and treatment of communicable diseases; (4) housing assistance; (5) certain in-kind community services; and (6) SSA benefits under specified circumstances.
Section 4402 -
Makes qualified aliens ineligible (with limited exceptions for refugees, asylees, certain permanent residents, veterans and active duty personnel, aliens whose deportation is withheld, and aliens currently receiving benefits) for: (1) SSI; (2) food stamps; (3) TANF; (4) social services block grants; and (5) Medicaid.
Section 4403 -
Makes qualified aliens ineligible (with limited exceptions for refugees, asylees, and veterans and active duty personnel) for Federal means-tested public benefits for the first five years after U.S. entry.
Section 4404 -
Requires each Federal agency administering a program covered by this title to notify the public and program recipients, either directly or through the States, of alien eligibility requirements. Amends the SSA and the United States Housing Act of 1937 to provide for State reporting of certain illegal alien information to the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS).
Section 4411 -
Makes an alien who is not a qualified alien, a nonimmigrant, or a parolee ineligible for all State or local benefits except: (1) emergency medical services; (2) certain emergency disaster relief; (3) public health immunizations and treatment of communicable diseases; and (4) certain in-kind community services.
Section 4412 -
Authorizes States to determine eligibility for State public means-tested benefits for qualified aliens, nonimmigrants, or parolees. Makes refugees, asylees, certain permanent residents, and veterans and active duty personnel eligible for all State public benefits.
Section 4421 -
Provides that in determining the eligibility and the amount of benefits of any alien for any Federal means-tested public benefits program the income and resources of the alien shall be deemed to include:
(1) the income and resources of any person who executed an affidavit of support on the alien's behalf; and
(2) the income and resources of the person's spouse (if any).
Applies such requirement with respect to an alien until such time as the alien achieves U.S. citizenship through naturalization or has worked without public assistance for a specified time.
Section 4422 -
Authorizes States to make similar attributions with respect to State programs, with specified exceptions.
Section 4423 -
Sets forth requirements for sponsor's affidavit of support.
Section 4424 -
Amends the Higher Education Act of 1965 to require sponsor cosignature of certain alien student loans.
Section 4431 -
Defines qualified alien as: (1) a lawful permanent resident; (2) an asylee; (3) a refugee; (4) a parolee; (5) an alien under withheld deportation; and (6) an alien granted conditional entry.
Section 4432 -
Requires the Attorney General to promulgate regulations regarding alien eligibility for Federal public benefits. Authorizes appropriations.
Section 4441 -
Makes conforming amendments related to assisted housing under the Housing and Community Development Act of 1980 and the Housing Act of 1949.
Section 4451 -
Amends the Internal Revenue Code to require a taxpayer to provide his or her social security number in order to qualify for the earned income credit.
Subtitle E - Reform of Public Housing
Prohibits an individual from receiving an increased benefit under a means-tested welfare or public assistance program because of a decrease in income owing to reduced benefits under another such program for which Federal funds are appropriated as a penalty for fraud.
Subtitle F - Child Protection Block Grant Programs and Foster Care, Adoption Assistance and Independent Living Programs
Replaces SSA title IV part B (Child Welfare Services) with a program of block grants to the States to implement: (1) child protection programs regarding child abuse and neglect; and (2) child protection.
Section 4701 -
Prescribes guidelines under which the Secretary of Health and Human Services (the Secretary) shall: (1) establish a national data collection and analysis program to coordinate existing State child abuse and neglect reports; and (2) implement a data collection system regarding adoption and foster care. Appropriates funds for child welfare studies and for assessment of State courts improvement of foster care and adoption proceedings.
Section 4711 -
Makes conforming amendments to Title IV-E (Foster Care and Adoption Assistance). Delineates requirements for State eligibility for Federal payments for foster care maintenance and adoption assistance. Sets forth guidelines for payments and allotments to the States for adoption assistance, foster care, and independent living programs (designed to assist children who have attained age 16 to make the transition from foster care to independent living).
Section 4722 -
Expresses the sense of the Congress that States should:
(1) allocate sufficient funds for adoption and medical assistance to encourage child adoption;
(2) offer incentives to make adoption of special needs children more affordable for middle-class families;
(3) provide a child who must be removed from its biological parents with a single foster care placement and single coordinated case team, including conclusion of adoption within one year of such child's foster care placement; and
(4) participate in programs to enable maximum visibility of waiting children to potential parents.
Section 4723 -
Makes a prerequisite for Federal block grants State certification that it has laws and procedures in effect to ensure the removal of barriers to interethnic adoption.
Requires reduction of Federal block grant payments to States failing to remove such barriers.
Establishes a private cause of action for persons aggrieved by a denial of interethnic adoption opportunity.
Deems such denial a violation of civil rights.
States that these requirements shall not affect application of the Indian Child Welfare Act of 1978.
Makes a conforming repeal to the Howard M. Metzenbaum Multiethnic Placement Act of 1994.
Section 4751 -
Renames the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act as the Child and Family Services Block Grant Act of 1996.
Changes the purposes of the Act to emphasize assistance to each State in improving child protective service systems.
Delineates criteria governing State eligibility for Federal block grants for:
(1) child and family services; and
(2) research, demonstrations, training, and technical assistance.
Abolishes the current Federal program, including the Advisory Board on Child Abuse and Neglect, the Inter-Agency Task Force on Child Abuse and Neglect, the National Center on Child Abuse and Neglect, community-based family resource programs, temporary child care for children with disabilities, crisis nursery demonstration programs, certain preventive services for children of homeless families or families at risk of homelessness, and requirements for criminal background checks of child care providers.
Instructs the Secretary to:
(1) establish a national child abuse and neglect data collection and analysis program (in addition to the current national clearinghouse for information relating to child abuse); and
(2) provide technical and training assistance to the States for child abuse and neglect programs and for adoption opportunities.
Mandates peer review for such grants.
Instructs the Secretary to conduct a national random sample study of children at risk of child abuse or neglect.
Authorizes appropriations for FY 1996 through 2002, including grants for demonstration projects.
Authorizes the Secretary to make grants to States to assist them in developing programs related to the investigation and prosecution of child abuse and neglect cases.
Requires any State requesting such assistance to establish a multidisciplinary task force on children's justice to study administrative, civil, and criminal judicial handling of such cases, and make recommendations which the State must adopt (or equivalent alternatives).
Subtitle G - Reductions in Federal Government Positions
Outlines the mechanism for various specified Federal executive agency workforce reductions, requiring submission to specified congressional committees of certain determinations about the number of full-time equivalent (FTE) positions of their respective departments by the Secretaries of Agriculture, of Education, of Labor, of Housing and Urban Development, and of HHS.
Section 4801 -
Requires the Secretaries to make FTE reductions, including reductions-in-force, resulting from such determinations over the ensuing 14 months. Requires the Comptroller General to analyze and report to such committees on such determinations, with recommendations for further FTE reductions, if appropriate.
Section 4802 -
Requires the HHS Secretary to reduce the Federal workforce within HHS by:
(1) 75 percent of the FTE positions relating to any direct spending program, or any program funded through discretionary spending, that has been converted into a block grant program by this Act; and
(2) 75 percent of a proportionate number of the total FTE departmental management positions.
Requires reduction of FTE positions in HHS by:
(1) 245 FTE positions related to the program converted by this Act into TANF block grants; and
(2) 60 FTE managerial positions.
Section 4803 -
Encourages the HHS Secretary to reduce personnel in the Washington, D.C., area office (agency headquarters) before reducing field personnel.
Subtitle H - Miscellaneous
Subjects any funds received by a State under TANF or under the optional State food assistance or child care block grant programs to appropriation by the State legislature consistent with the terms and conditions required under such programs.
Section 4902 -
Provides that States shall not be prohibited by the Federal Government from testing welfare recipients for use of controlled substances nor from sanctioning welfare recipients who test positive for use of controlled substances.
Section 4903 -
Amends SSA title XX (Block Grants to States for Social Services) to provide for a reduction in funding under such program.

House Republican Conference Summary

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