S.834 – Real Welfare Reform Act of 1995104th Congress (1995-1996)
Introduced in Senate (05/19/1995)
TABLE OF CONTENTS:
Title I: Welfare Spending Cap and Block Grants
Subtitle A: Capping the Aggregate Growth of Welfare
Subtitle B: Welfare Block Grant Program
Title II: Work Program-Related Requirements on States in
Expending Certain Block Grant Funds
Subtitle A: Workfare and Dependency Reduction Program
Subtitle B: Work Requirement for Food Stamp Equivalent
Subtitle C: Evaluation of Training Programs
Title III: Promoting Families
Subtitle A: Eligibility for Certain Welfare Block Grant
Subtitle B: Additional Earned Income Tax Credit for
Subtitle C: Expansion of Abstinence Education
Title IV: Recommendations
Title V: Child Support Enforcement
Title VI: Miscellaneous Provisions
Title VII: Severability and Effective Date
Real Welfare Reform Act of 1995 – Title I: Welfare Spending Cap and Block Grants – Subtitle A: Capping the Aggregate Growth of Welfare Spending – Places a cap on the growth of Federal spending on certain welfare programs, including the welfare block grant program established below and the head start program, starting in FY 1996, with the resulting savings used for deficit reduction.
Subtitle B: Welfare Block Grant Program – Replaces various specified current welfare programs, including the cash aid component of the Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) program, child welfare and nutrition programs, the food stamp and supplemental security income programs, and housing, energy, and job training programs, with a single program of block grants to the States to provide: (1) aid to low-income households in the State, with food assistance provided, at the strong encouragement of the Congress, through food commodities directly purchased by the State, while providing for the Medicaid-eligibility of low-income individuals; (2) appropriate services and activities to discourage out-of-wedlock pregnancies; and (3) care for the children of such pregnancies. Sets forth special rules and reporting requirements regarding the use of program funds, including a prohibition on their use for abortion to plan families and aid to noncitizen and fugitive felons and probation or parole violators. Authorizes appropriations.
Title II: Work Program-Related Requirements on States in Expending Certain Block Grant Funds – Subtitle A: Workfare and Dependency Reduction Program – Requires that if a State uses grant funds received above to provide direct cash or food assistance to certain populations of AFDC families and dependent children, it must establish and operate a program to reduce welfare dependence and ensure that welfare recipients participate, according to specified guidelines and participation requirements, in State community work service or wage subsidy programs, nonsubsidized private sector employment, or supervised job search activities and, at the State’s option, in educational or job skills training as well, with single- adult families with young children generally not required to participate in such program except under certain circumstances. Authorizes appropriations.
(Sec. 215) Amends the Internal Revenue Code (IRC) to provide for a special rule with respect to certain employers under the wage subsidy program relating to employee earned income eligibility certificates.
(Sec. 216) Provides for penalties for parents who fail to participate in State community work service programs.
(Sec. 217) Eliminates work requirements above for groups which no longer receive benefits.
Subtitle B: Work Requirement for Food Stamp Equivalent Households – Provides that if a State uses grant funds received above to provide direct food assistance to a population of food stamp equivalent households, the State shall require members of such a population to perform successfully at least 32 hours of work per month on behalf of a State or political subdivision through a program it establishes prior to the furnishing of direct food assistance for such month. Establishes certain exemptions from such requirement, such as in the case of a parent residing with a dependent child under age 18 or in the case of a member who is under age 18 or is mentally or physically unfit.
(Sec. 222) Provides for similar elimination of work requirements for specified groups under this subtitle no longer receiving food benefits.
Subtitle C: Evaluation of Training Programs – Requires States using grant funds to assist low-income households to conduct ongoing evaluations of job training programs to determine whether such programs raise the hourly wage rates of individuals receiving training through such programs.
Title III: Promoting Families – Expresses the sense of the Congress with regard to the importance of marriage in society and the negative consequences of out-of-wedlock births, making the reduction of such births an important government interest.
Subtitle A: Eligibility for Certain Welfare Block Grant Funds – Denies certain welfare assistance to certain young unwed parents and their children, including assistance to additional children of recipients.
(Sec. 313) Ties a family’s receipt of assistance to the establishment of paternity for each of their children born on or after January 1, 1995, with certain exceptions.
Subtitle B: Additional Earned Income Tax Credit for Married Individuals – Amends the IRC to establish additional earned income tax credit for married individuals.
Subtitle C: Expansion of Abstinence Education – Directs the Secretary of Health and Human Services to make grants to States and public and private entities for promoting sexual abstinence. Authorizes appropriations.
Title IV: Recommendations – Recommends that a State providing direct cash assistance from welfare block grant funds to: (1) custodial parents under age 19 without a high school education who belong to an AFDC equivalent family must require them to participate in an educational activity and, at the State’s option, may require them to participate in training or work activities in lieu of such educational activities under certain conditions; (2) an AFDC equivalent family without any children under age five with sufficient liquid assets to meet its basic needs for a one-month period beginning when it applies for such assistance must not provide it with such assistance until any member aged 18 has conducted appropriate job search activities for such period; (3) an AFDC equivalent family not described above without any children under age five must require a member aged 18 to conduct similar activities during the first one month period in which it receives aid; and (4) an AFDC equivalent family must reduce by a certain amount monthly assistance payments to any family in a subsidized housing unit in the State.
(Sec. 403) Recommends that a State providing direct cash assistance from welfare block grant funds to an AFDC equivalent family, in determining eligibility for such assistance, consider as income of the applicant family, any rent or housing subsidy provided by the State, to the extent that the value of such subsidy is equivalent to the amount for housing included in the maximum amount payable to a family of the same composition with no other income.
Title V: Child Support Enforcement – Establishes a national system for reporting information on employee child support obligations through modified W-4 form reporting.
(Sec. 502) Provides for: (1) child support order registries maintained by designated State agencies of each child support order being enforced in the State; (2) accessibility of State locate information to other States and private parties; (3) expansion of the Federal Parent Locator Service (FPLS); (4) an Interstate Locate Network linking FPLS and all State databases relating to child support enforcement for State use in handling locate requests; (5) Federal regulations governing the sharing of locate information among States, within States, and between the States and FPLS; and (6) State systems for collecting child support through employer withholding of employee income owed for child support pursuant to a uniform withholding order for distribution to the individual or State to whom the withheld income is to be paid.
(Sec. 506) Makes various specified changes with regard to paternity establishment, including allowing simple civil consent procedures for voluntary acknowledgement of parentage by unmarried parents.
(Sec. 507) Prohibits the imposition of any fee for child support collection or paternity establishment services provided with respect to an individual denied low-income housing aid as a result of this Act.
Title VI: Miscellaneous Provisions – Repeals the Davis-Bacon Act (which requires Federal contractors to pay prevailing wages).
(Sec. 601) Requires the Director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), upon enactment of this title, to make downward adjustments in discretionary spending limits under the Congressional Budget Act of 1974 (CBA) for FY 1996 through 2000 by the amount of discretionary savings attributable to each such fiscal year resulting from enactment. Reduces allocations in effect under CBA for FY 1996 for House and Senate appropriations committees by the amount of discretionary savings in outlays and budget authority determined above. Provides for appropriations committee suballocations for such fiscal year to reflect the lower allocations provided by this paragraph.
(Sec. 602) Makes fugitive felons and probation and parole violators ineligible for Medicaid benefits and provides for the exchange of Medicaid locate information with Federal, State, and local law enforcement officers.
(Sec. 603) Restricts judicial and administrative review of this Act and any laws or regulations enacted or promulgated thereunder as a result of challenges by certain legal services providers.
(Sec. 604) Amends the Child Nutrition Act of 1966 to: (1) tie its definition of “poverty line” to OMB’s official poverty line revised annually under the Community Services Block Grant Act that is applicable to a particular family; (2) authorize State agencies electing to provide supplemental foods to women, infants, and children (WIC) program participants in the form of commodities rather than vouchers to use any resulting savings for certain low-income assistance; and (3) require the Secretary of Agriculture to ensure that the amount of WIC funds allocated to a State agency is not reduced because it makes such an election.
Title VII: Severability and Effective Date – Sets forth severability provisions and the effective date of this Act.