H.R. 5891 (111th): Poverty Measurement Improvement Act

111th Congress, 2009–2010. Text as of Jul 28, 2010 (Introduced).

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I

111th CONGRESS

2d Session

H. R. 5891

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

July 28, 2010

introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Ways and Means, and in addition to the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, for a period to be subsequently determined by the Speaker, in each case for consideration of such provisions as fall within the jurisdiction of the committee concerned

A BILL

To direct the Bureau of the Census to publish improved annual measures of family income for use in more accurately determining the extent of poverty in the United States and the anti-poverty effectiveness of means-tested benefit and tax programs, and for other purposes.

1.

Short title

This Act may be cited as the Poverty Measurement Improvement Act.

2.

Improved measures of income and poverty

Part A of title XI of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 1301—1320b–21) is amended by adding at the end the following:

1150A.

Improved measures of income and poverty

(a)

In general

In order to more accurately determine the extent of poverty in the United States, and the anti-poverty effectiveness of means-tested benefit and tax programs, the Bureau of the Census shall publish annually statistics on levels of family income in the United States. Such statistics shall take into account, at a minimum, the full benefits poverty income measure and the partial benefits poverty income measure, as follows:

(b)

Definitions

In this section:

(1)

Full benefits poverty income measure

The term full benefits poverty income measure means the sum of the partial benefits poverty income measure and other noncash benefits (including supplemental nutrition assistance benefits, housing subsidies, the actuarial value of health insurance coverage, and any other State or Federal means-tested benefits) attributable to the members of the household involved, including non-related members. In calculating the sum, the Bureau of the Census shall apply its current disposable income methodology, which includes—

(A)

earnings, unemployment compensation under Federal or State law, worker’s compensation, social security benefits, supplemental security income benefits, public assistance (including TANF or other welfare benefits), veterans' payments, survivor benefits, disability benefits, retirement income, interest, dividends, rent, other income, alimony, child support, education assistance, capital gains, the market value of supplemental nutrition assistance benefits, the market value of school lunch program benefits, housing subsidies, and estimated return to home equity;

(B)

the net Federal tax liability or refund, after taking account of any refundable credits such as the earned income credit or the child tax credit; and

(C)

capital losses, State income tax liablity after State refundable credits, Federal Insurance Contributions Act taxes, retirement contributions (including Federal retirement payroll contributions), property taxes, and estimated work expenses (such as child care and work-related transportation expenses).

(2)

Partial benefits poverty income measure

In this section, the term partial benefits poverty income measure means money income, as defined by the Bureau of the Census for purposes of any survey relating to income or poverty in the United States.

(c)

Rates and other data

The Bureau of the Census shall produce corresponding tables and graphs showing for each year the following:

(1)

The poverty rate (and related data), determined by using the full benefits poverty income measure.

(2)

The poverty rate (and related data), determined by using the partial benefits poverty income measure.

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