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S. 1364 (106th): Responsible Fatherhood Act of 1999

The text of the bill below is as of Jul 14, 1999 (Introduced).


S 1364 IS

106th CONGRESS

1st Session

S. 1364

To amend title IV of the Social Security Act to increase public awareness regarding the benefits of lasting and stable marriages and community involvement in the promotion of marriage and fatherhood issues, to provide greater flexibility in the Welfare-to-Work grant program for long-term welfare recipients and low income custodial and noncustodial parents, and for other purposes.

IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

July 14, 1999

Mr. BAYH (for himself, Mr. DOMENICI, Mrs. LINCOLN, Mr. LIEBERMAN, Ms. LANDRIEU, Mr. GRAHAM, Mr. LUGAR, Mr. VOINOVICH, Mr. ROBB, Mr. BREAUX, Mr. EDWARDS, and Mr. BINGAMAN) introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on Finance


A BILL

To amend title IV of the Social Security Act to increase public awareness regarding the benefits of lasting and stable marriages and community involvement in the promotion of marriage and fatherhood issues, to provide greater flexibility in the Welfare-to-Work grant program for long-term welfare recipients and low income custodial and noncustodial parents, and for other purposes.

    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 ‘Responsible Fatherhood Act of 1999’.

SEC. 2. FINDINGS.

    Congress finds that--

      (1) nearly 25 million children in the United States, or 36 percent of all such children, live apart from their biological father;

      (2) 60 percent of couples who divorce have at least 1 child;

      (3) the number of children living with only a mother increased from just over 5,000,000 in 1960, to 17,000,000 in 1999, and between 1981 and 1991 the percentage of children living with only 1 parent increased from 19 percent to 25 percent;

      (4) 40 percent of children who live in households without a father have not seen their father in at least 1 year and 50 percent of such children have never visited their father’s home;

      (5) children who live without contact with their biological father are, in comparison to children who have such contact--

        (A) 5 times more likely to live in poverty;

        (B) more likely to bring weapons and drugs into the classroom;

        (C) twice as likely to commit crime;

        (D) twice as likely to drop out of school;

        (E) twice as likely to be abused;

        (F) more likely to commit suicide;

        (G) more than twice as likely to abuse alcohol or drugs; and

        (H) more likely to become pregnant as teenagers;

      (6) violent criminals are overwhelmingly males who grew up without fathers and the best predictor of crime in a community is the percentage of absent father households;

      (7) compared with Great Britain, Canada, Australia, Germany, and Italy, the United States has the highest percentage of single parent households with dependent children;

      (8) 70 percent of United States citizens believe that the most significant family or social problem facing the United States is the physical absence of the father from the home, resulting in a lack of involvement of fathers in the rearing and development of children;

      (9) States should be encouraged, not restricted, from implementing programs that provide support for responsible fatherhood, promote marriage, and increase the incidence of marriage;

      (10) there is a social need to reconnect children and fathers;

      (11) the promotion of responsible fatherhood and encouragement of two-parent families should not--

        (A) denigrate the standing or parenting efforts of single mothers; or

        (B) lessen the protection of children from abusive parents;

      but should increase the chance that children will have two caring parents to help them grow up healthy and secure;

      (12) for the future of the United States and the future of our children, Congress, States, and local communities should assist parents to become more actively involved in their children’s lives; and

      (13) child support is an important means by which a parent can take financial responsibility for a child and emotional support is an important means by which a parent can take social responsibility for a child.

TITLE I--PUBLIC AWARENESS AND COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT IN FATHERHOOD ISSUES

SEC. 101. GRANTS TO STATES TO ENCOURAGE MEDIA CAMPAIGNS.

    Part D of title IV of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 670 et seq.) is amended by adding at the end the following:

‘SEC. 469C. GRANTS TO STATES TO ENCOURAGE MEDIA CAMPAIGNS PROMOTING FATHERHOOD SKILLS.

    ‘(a) DEFINITIONS- In this section:

      ‘(1) CHILDREN AT RISK- The term ‘children at risk’ means a young child whose family income does not exceed 200 percent of the poverty line.

      ‘(2) MEDIA CAMPAIGN- The term ‘media campaign’ includes any communication or series of communications prepared for distribution through a broadcasting station, newspaper, magazine, outdoor advertising facility, mailing, or any other type of general public advertising.

      ‘(3) STATE- The term ‘State’ means any of the several States, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the United States Virgin Islands, Guam, American Samoa, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands.

      ‘(4) YOUNG CHILD- The term ‘young child’ means an individual under age 5.

    ‘(b) IN GENERAL- The Secretary shall award grants in accordance with this section to States for the purpose of encouraging States--

      ‘(1) to develop and carry out media campaigns, in conjunction with local and private organizations within the State, that promote the formation and maintenance of married two-parent families, strengthen fragile families, and promote responsible fatherhood; and

      ‘(2) to obtain donations of media access necessary for such campaigns.

    ‘(c) AMOUNT OF GRANT- The amount of the grant to be made to a State under this section for a fiscal year shall be an amount equal to the lesser of--

      ‘(1) 100 percent of State expenditures during the fiscal year for activities described in subsection (b); or

      ‘(2) the allotment of the State under subsection (d) for the fiscal year.

    ‘(d) ALLOTMENTS TO STATES- From the funds appropriated under subsection (i) for making grants under this section for the fiscal year, the allotment of a State for a fiscal year is equal to the sum of--

      ‘(1) an amount that bears the same ratio to 50 percent of such funds as the number of young children in the State bears to the number of such children in all States; and

      ‘(2) an amount that bears the same ratio to 50 percent of such funds as the number of children at risk in the State bears to the number of such children in all States.

    ‘(e) USE OF FUNDS- The chief executive officer of a State receiving a grant under this section shall certify that--

      ‘(1) 50 percent of such funds shall be used to strengthen fragile families and promote responsible fatherhood; and

      ‘(2) 50 percent of such funds shall be used to promote the formation and maintenance of married two-parent families.

    ‘(f) STATE EXPENDITURES-

      ‘(1) CASH OR IN KIND- State expenditures under subsection (c)(1) may be in cash or in kind, including equipment or services contributed directly or through donations from public entities or private nonprofit organizations, including charitable and religious organizations. Amounts provided by the Federal Government, or services assisted or subsidized to any significant extent by the Federal Government, may not be included in determining the amount of such State expenditures.

      ‘(2) NO CREDIT FOR PRE-AWARD EXPENDITURES- Only State expenditures made after a grant has been awarded under this section may be counted for purposes of determining whether the State has satisfied the expenditure requirement under subsection (c)(1).

    ‘(g) NATIONAL CLEARINGHOUSE- From the funds appropriated under subsection (i) for the fiscal year to carry out programs under this subsection, the Secretary shall contract with a nationally recognized, nonprofit, fatherhood promotion organization with at least 4 years of experience in designing and disseminating a national public education campaign, including the production and successful placement of television, radio, and print public service announcements which promote the importance of responsible fatherhood, and with at least 4 years experience providing consultation and training to community based organizations interested in implementing fatherhood outreach, support, or skills programs with an emphasis on promoting married fatherhood as the ideal, such as the National Fatherhood Initiative, to--

      ‘(1) develop, promote, and distribute to interested States, local governments and public agencies, and private nonprofit organizations, including charitable and religious organizations, a media campaign that encourages the appropriate involvement of both parents in the life of any child of the parents, with a priority for programs that specifically address the issue of responsible fatherhood; and

      ‘(2) develop a national clearinghouse to assist States and communities in efforts to promote and support responsible fatherhood by collecting, evaluating, and making available (through the Internet and by other means) to other States, information regarding media campaigns and programs instituted by States using the funds available under this section.

    ‘(h) STATE ADMINISTRATION- Each State to which a grant is made under this section--

      ‘(1) may administer State programs funded with the grant directly or through grants to or contracts with local governments and public agencies, and private nonprofit organizations, including charitable and religious organizations; and

      ‘(2) shall monitor, evaluate, and annually report on such programs to the Secretary in such manner as the Secretary determines in consultation with the States.

    ‘(i) AUTHORIZATION OF APPROPRIATIONS- There are authorized to be appropriated to carry out this section--

      ‘(1) $25,000,000 for each fiscal year beginning on or after October 1, 1999, for the purpose of making grants under this section; and

      ‘(2) $2,000,000 for each such fiscal year for the purposes of carrying out programs under subsection (g).’.

SEC. 102. RESPONSIBLE FATHERHOOD BLOCK GRANT.

    (a) GRANT- Section 403(a)(5) of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 603(a)(5)) is amended by adding at the end the following:

        ‘(K) RESPONSIBLE FATHERHOOD BLOCK GRANT-

          ‘(i) DEFINITIONS- In this subparagraph:

            ‘(I) CHILDREN AT RISK- The term ‘children at risk’ means a young child whose family income does not exceed 200 percent of the poverty line.

            ‘(II) STATE- The term ‘State’ means any of the several States, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the United States Virgin Islands, Guam, American Samoa, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands.

            ‘(III) YOUNG CHILD- The term ‘young child’ means an individual under age 5.

          ‘(ii) AUTHORITY- The Secretary shall award grants to States in accordance with this subparagraph to encourage States to provide support for the efforts of local governments and public agencies, and private nonprofit organizations, including charitable and religious organizations, to promote the formation and maintenance of married two-parent families, strengthen fragile families, and promote responsible fatherhood.

          ‘(iii) REQUIREMENT OF MATCHING FUNDS-

            ‘(I) IN GENERAL- To be eligible to receive a grant under this subparagraph, the State shall agree to make available (directly or through donations from public entities or profit or nonprofit organizations, including charitable and religious organizations) non-Federal contributions toward the costs of the activities to be carried out by a State pursuant to clause (v) in an amount that is not less than 25 percent of such costs.

            ‘(II) DETERMINATION OF AMOUNT CONTRIBUTED- Non-Federal contributions required in subclause (I) may be in cash or in kind, fairly evaluated, including equipment or services. Amounts provided by the Federal Government, or services assisted or subsidized to any significant extent by the Federal Government, may not be included in determining the amount of such non-Federal contributions.

          ‘(iv) ALLOTMENTS TO STATES- From the funds appropriated under clause (viii) for grants under this subparagraph for the fiscal year, the allotment of a State for such fiscal year is equal to the sum of--

            ‘(I) an amount that bears the same ratio to 50 percent of such funds as the number of young children in the State bears to the number of such children in all States; and

            ‘(II) an amount that bears the same ratio to 50 percent of such funds as the number of children at risk in the State bears to the number of such children in all States.

          ‘(v) USE OF FUNDS-

            ‘(I) IN GENERAL- A State that receives a grant under this subparagraph shall use the funds received to support programs of local governments and public agencies, and private nonprofit organizations, including charitable and religious organizations, that encourage the appropriate involvement of both parents in the life of any child of the parents, with a priority for programs that specifically address the issue of responsible fatherhood, promote the formation and maintenance of married two-parent families, and strengthen fragile families.

            ‘(II) CERTIFICATION OF SET-ASIDE- The chief executive officer of a State receiving funds under this subparagraph shall certify that--

‘(aa) 50 percent of such funds shall be used to strengthen fragile families and promote responsible fatherhood; and

(bb) 50 percent of such funds shall be used to promote the formation and maintenance of married two-parent families.

            ‘(III) SUPPLEMENT NOT SUPPLANT-

‘(aa) IN GENERAL- Except as provided in item (bb), amounts paid to a State under this subparagraph shall be used to supplement and not supplant other Federal, State, or local

funds provided to the State under this part or any other provision of law.

(bb) EXCEPTION- Item (aa) shall not apply to amounts provided to the State under this part.

          ‘(vi) STATE ADMINISTRATION- Each State to which a grant is made under this subparagraph shall monitor, evaluate, and provide a report on programs funded with this grant to the Secretary in such manner as the Secretary determines in consultation with the States.

          ‘(vii) COORDINATION WITH OTHER PROVISIONS-

            ‘(I) For purposes of this subparagraph, the limitations contained in subparagraph (C) shall not apply.

            ‘(II) For purposes of sections 404, 405, 407, and 408, a grant under this subparagraph shall not be considered to be a grant made under section 403.

          ‘(viii) AUTHORIZATION OF APPROPRIATIONS- There are authorized to be appropriated to carry out this subparagraph, $50,000,000 for each fiscal year beginning on or after October 1, 1999, for the purpose of making grants under this subparagraph.’.

    (b) CONFORMING AMENDMENT- Section 403(a)(5)(I)(i) of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 603(a)(5)(I)(i)) is amended by inserting ‘(other than grants under subparagraph (K))’ before the period.

TITLE II--REMOVAL OF BURDENSOME FEDERAL RESTRICTIONS

SEC. 201. WELFARE-TO-WORK PROGRAM GRANT MODIFICATIONS.

    (a) MODIFICATION OF RECIPIENT REQUIREMENTS- Clause (ii) of section 403(a)(5)(C) of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 603(a)(5)(C)) is amended--

      (1) in the matter preceding subclause (I), by inserting ‘, as applicable’ after ‘subclauses’; and

      (2) in subclause (I)--

        (A) in the matter preceding item (aa)--

          (i) by striking ‘2’ and inserting ‘1’;

          (ii) by striking ‘apply’ and inserting ‘applies’; and

          (iii) by striking ‘or the noncustodial parent’;

        (B) in item (aa), by striking ‘, and has low skills in reading or mathematics’;

        (C) by redesignating items (bb) and (cc) as items (cc) and (dd), respectively; and

        (D) by inserting after item (aa) the following:

‘(bb) The individual has low skills in reading or mathematics.’.

    (b) REQUIREMENTS FOR CUSTODIAL AND NONCUSTODIAL PARENTS- Clause (ii) of section 403(a)(5)(C) of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 603(a)(5)(C)) is amended--

      (1) by redesignating subclause (II) as subclause (IV); and

      (2) by inserting after subclause (I), the following:

            ‘(II) At least 1 of the following applies to the recipient or the noncustodial parent:

‘(aa) The individual is unemployed.

‘(bb) The individual is underemployed.

‘(cc) The individual is having difficulty in paying child support obligations.

‘(dd) The income of the individual is not greater than 200 percent of the poverty line.

            ‘(III) At least 1 of the following applies to a minor child of the noncustodial parent or the recipient:

‘(aa) The minor child of the recipient or the recipient meets the requirements of subclause (IV).

‘(bb) The minor child is eligible for, or is receiving, benefits under the program funded under this part.

‘(cc) The minor child received benefits under the program funded under this part in the 12-month period preceding the date of the determination but no longer receives such benefits.

‘(dd) The minor child is eligible for, or is receiving, assistance under the Food Stamp Act of 1977, benefits under the supplemental security income program under title XVI of this Act, medical assistance under title XIX of this Act, or child health assistance under title XXI of this Act.

            Notwithstanding this subclause, not more than 10 percent of the funds provided for projects under this clause may be used for the benefit of recipients or noncustodial parents who do not meet the requirements of this subclause.’.

    (c) INCREASE IN IN-KIND DONATIONS- Section 403(a)(5)(A)(i) of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 603(a)(5)(A)(i)) is amended by adding at the end the following flush sentence:

        ‘For purposes of determining expenditures by the State under this clause, in kind donations

may be included in an amount not to exceed 75 percent of the total amount of expenditures.’.

    (d) ADDITIONAL USE OF FUNDS- Section 403(a)(5)(C)(i) of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 603(a)(5)(C)(i)) is amended by inserting after subclause (VI) the following:

            ‘(VII) Programs to increase parenting skills of low income parents eligible for assistance under the program funded under this part, to encourage the formation and maintenance of married two-parent families, and to promote responsible fatherhood.’.

    (e) CONFORMING AMENDMENT- Section 404(k)(1)(C)(iii) of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 604(k)(1)(C)(iii)) is amended by striking ‘(ii)(II)’ and inserting ‘(ii)(III)’.

SEC. 202. DISTRIBUTION AND TREATMENT OF CHILD SUPPORT COLLECTED BY THE STATE.

    (a) STATE OPTION TO PASS PORTION OF CHILD SUPPORT COLLECTED DIRECTLY TO THE FAMILY-

      (1) IN GENERAL- Section 457 of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 657) is amended--

        (A) in subsection (a), by striking ‘(e) and (f)’ and inserting ‘(e), (f), and (g)’; and

        (B) by adding at the end the following:

    ‘(g) STATE OPTION TO PASS THROUGH PORTION OF SUPPORT COLLECTED TO THE FAMILY-

      ‘(1) IN GENERAL- At State option, subject to paragraph (2), and subsections (a)(4), (b), (d), (e), and (f), this section shall not apply to up to the first $75 of any monthly amount collected on behalf of a family as support by the State and any amount so collected shall be distributed to the family.

      ‘(2) INCOME PROTECTION REQUIREMENT- A State may not elect the option described in paragraph (1) unless the State ensures that any amount distributed to a family in accordance with that paragraph is not included in the income of the family for purposes of determining the eligibility of the family for, or the amount of, assistance under the State program funded under part A until the family has actually received the amount.

      ‘(3) OPTION TO PASS THROUGH AMOUNTS COLLECTED PURSUANT TO A CONTINUED ASSIGNMENT- At State option, any amount collected pursuant to an assignment continued under subsection (b) may be distributed to the family in accordance with paragraph (1).

      ‘(4) RELEASE OF OBLIGATION TO PAY FEDERAL SHARE- If a State that elects the option described in paragraph (1) also elects to disregard under section 408(a)(12)(B) the total amount annually collected and distributed to all families in accordance with paragraph (1) for purposes of determining the amount of assistance for such families under the State program funded under part A, the State is released from--

        ‘(A) calculating the Federal share of the amounts so distributed and disregarded; and

        ‘(B) paying such share to the Federal Government.’.

      (2) AUTHORITY TO CLAIM PASSED THROUGH AMOUNT FOR PURPOSES OF TANF MAINTENANCE OF EFFORT REQUIREMENTS- Section 409(a)(7)(B)(i)(I)(aa) of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 609(a)(7)(B)(i)(I)(aa)) is amended by inserting ‘, and, in the case of a State that elects under section 457(g) to distribute up to the first $75 of any monthly amount so collected directly to the family, a percentage of any amount so distributed (and disregarded under section 408(a)(12) in determining the eligibility of the family for, or the amount of, such assistance) equal to 100 percent minus the Federal medical assistance percentage (as defined in section 1905(b)) for such State for the fiscal year’ before the period.

    (b) STATE OPTION TO DISREGARD CHILD SUPPORT COLLECTED FOR PURPOSES OF DETERMINING ELIGIBILITY FOR, OR AMOUNT OF, TANF ASSISTANCE- Section 408(a) of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 608(a)) is amended by adding at the end the following:

      ‘(12) STATE OPTION TO DISREGARD CHILD SUPPORT IN DETERMINING ELIGIBILITY FOR, OR AMOUNT OF, ASSISTANCE-

        ‘(A) OPTION TO DISREGARD CHILD SUPPORT FOR PURPOSES OF DETERMINING ELIGIBILITY- A State to which a grant is made under section 403 may disregard any part of any amount received by a family as a result of a child support obligation in determining the family’s income for purposes of determining the family’s eligibility for assistance under the State program funded under this part.

        ‘(B) OPTION TO DISREGARD CHILD SUPPORT IN DETERMINING AMOUNT OF ASSISTANCE- A State to which a grant is made under section 403 may disregard any part of any amount received by a family as a result of a child support obligation in determining the amount of assistance that the State will provide to the family under the State program funded under this part.’.

    (c) CONFORMING AMENDMENT- Section 457(f) of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 657(f)) is amended by striking ‘Notwithstanding’ and inserting ‘AMOUNTS COLLECTED ON BEHALF OF CHILDREN IN FOSTER CARE- Notwithstanding’.

    (d) EFFECTIVE DATE- The amendments made by this section take effect on October 1, 1999.

SEC. 203. USE OF CERTAIN FEDERAL SHARE AMOUNTS TO PROVIDE FATHERHOOD PROGRAMS.

    (a) RELEASE OF OBLIGATION TO PAY FEDERAL SHARE ON AMOUNTS USED FOR FATHERHOOD PROGRAMS- Section 457 of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 657), as amended by section 202(a), is amended--

      (1) in subsection (a), by striking ‘(f) and (g)’ and inserting ‘(f), (g), and (h)’; and

      (2) by adding at the end the following:

    ‘(h) OPTION TO USE AMOUNTS COLLECTED FOR FATHERHOOD PROGRAMS-

      ‘(1) IN GENERAL- At State option, subject to paragraph (2), paragraphs (2), (3), and (4) of subsection (a), and subsections (b), (d), (e), and (f), this section shall not apply to any amounts collected by a State as child support and retained by the State to provide services described in paragraph (3).

      ‘(2) REQUIREMENT TO MAKE ELECTION UNDER SUBSECTION (g)- This subsection shall only apply to a State which has made an election under subsection (g)(1) with respect to the first $75 of any monthly amount collected on behalf of a family as support by the State and elects to disregard under section 408(a)(12)(B) the total amount distributed for purposes of determining the amount of assistance for such families under the State program funded under part A.

      ‘(3) FATHERHOOD SERVICE- A service is described in this paragraph if it is a service that encourages the appropriate involvement of both parents in the life of any child of the parents, with a priority for programs that specifically address the issue of responsible fatherhood for low income noncustodial fathers.

      ‘(4) RELEASE OF OBLIGATION TO PAY FEDERAL SHARE- If a State provides services described in paragraph (3) using amounts described in paragraph (1), the State is released from--

        ‘(A) calculating the Federal share of the lesser of--

          ‘(i) the State expenditures for the fiscal year for such services; or

          ‘(ii) the amount collected on behalf of each family as support by the State for the fiscal year but only to the extent that such Federal share does not exceed an amount equal to the first $50 of each monthly amount (determined, at the option of the State, in the aggregate or on a case-by-case basis); and

        ‘(B) paying such share to the Federal Government.’.

    (b) EFFECTIVE DATE- The amendments made by this section take effect on October 1, 1999.

SEC. 204. TANF BONUS TO REWARD HIGH PERFORMANCE STATES.

    Section 403(a)(4)(C) of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 603(a)(4)(C)) is amended by adding at the end the following: ‘The formula shall provide for the awarding of grants under this paragraph based on a State’s effort to encourage the formation and maintenance of two-parent families.’.