8-4-2014 Update from Capitol Hill: Congress has recessed for the month of August and will return after Labor Day. Before leaving Washington, DC, the House adopted the Preventing Sex Trafficking and Strengthening Families Act (HR 4980) which contains a number of child support provisions long-sought by NCSEA. Everyone anticipated that the Senate would also pass it before recess, but regrettably Senator Coburn (OK) put a hold on it before recess. [more]
6-30-2014 Update from Capitol Hill: Before leaving for their July 4 recess, congressional leaders announced a bipartisan, bicameral agreement on child welfare, sex trafficking, adoption assistance and child support legislation. The agreement combines and reconciles three bills that the House passed and three bills adopted by the Senate Finance Committee. The House is expected consider the measure first after the July 4th recess and the Senate would follow suit shortly thereafter. There would be no amendments to the bill. [more]
6-2-2014 Update from Capitol Hill: As summer begins in Washington, D.C., Congress faces a long list of ‘must-pass’ legislation, including tackling all 13 spending bills for federal fiscal year 2015. The Labor, Health and Human Services and Education appropriations measure will likely be one of the last bills Congress will consider, but there is no likelihood of any federal shutdown this fall so close to the November elections. In the meantime, the Senate Finance Committee’s child support bill (S. 1877) still awaits floor action. [more]
3-24-2014 Update from Capitol Hill: NCSEA has written to the Senate Finance Committee, expressing views on two sections of S. 1870, “Supporting At-Risk Children Act”. The sections of the bill related to child support, concern the issues of passport denial and parenting time. The NCSEA Board of Directors approved the policy statement on S. 1870 at a special Board briefing and meeting, March 4, 2014. The policy was approved by the Board unanimously. The letter to the Senate Finance Committee, as well as proposed amended language for the passport provision, is available on the NCSEA website.
3-3-2014 Update from Capitol Hill: This week, Congress is reviewing the Obama administration’s fiscal year 2015 budget proposal. The policy and spending proposals serve as a starting point for much of the legislative work for the rest of the year. The House Budget Committee is also likely to begin drafting its blueprint soon, while the Senate Budget Committee has announced that it will just adhere to the recent two-year agreement which has already set a top-line spending amount for next year. Given the separate paths already set by the House and Senate, the work of the actual appropriation committees will be the focus of much of the advocacy activity over the coming months. [more]
2-3-2014 Update from Capitol Hill: The bipartisan Child Support Improvement and Work Promotion Act (S. 1877) continues to await floor action. Adopted by the Senate Finance Committee in December, the bill is among three human services-related bills that it adopted. None have made it to the floor yet, due to the press of other legislative business, including the farm bill reauthorization. Once the Senate passes the bill, it would clear the way for negotiations to begin with the House on their more narrow bipartisan bill (H.R.1896) adopted last June. [more]
1-6-2014 Senate Advances Child Support Bill: As Congress prepared to leave Washington for the holidays, the Senate Finance Committee considered and adopted a bipartisan bill containing changes to child welfare and child support programs. The Supporting At-Risk Children Act (S. 1870) (bill summary) contains provisions long sought-after by NCSEA, including provisions language implementing the Hague Treaty, resolving inconsistencies between the Uniform Interstate Family Support Act (UIFSA) with the Full Faith and Credit for Child Support Orders Act (FFCCSOA) and providing tribes with access to the Federal Parent Locator Service. Also included in the bill is a provision establishing a child support task force to prepare a report to Congress identifying best practices and recommending improvements to the program’s effectiveness. NCSEA sent a letter to the Senate Finance Committee prior to the mark up expressing support for these provisions. [more]
12-2-2013 Update from Capitol Hill: The House returned on December 2 and plans on adjourning for the year on December 13. Across the Hill, the Senate remains in recess and is slated to return next week, with an adjournment target of December 20. These different schedules leave only a few days when both bodies are in session to adopt legislation before the end of the year. There is little news on progress toward reaching a bipartisan agreement on a budget blueprint which would allocate pots of funding for the 12 appropriations subcommittees to use to make spending determinations for each program by January 15. [more]
10-8-2013 Update from Capitol Hill: House Republicans and the Obama Administration remain stalemated over federal funding bills and the debt limit. No discussions are taking place on how to resolve the issues. It appears that, as of this writing, the federal government will remain shut down through the reminder of this week, with attention turning to the date of October 17 when the U.S. Treasury has said that it will not have enough money to pay all of its obligations. The shutdown has also affected many congressional offices, where many staff have been furloughed and hearings postponed. [more]
8-19-2013 All Quiet on Capitol Hill: The House and Senate have begun their summer recess. Upon their return to Washington on September 9, they will have fewer than ten legislative days to agree upon a plan to continue funding all federal programs and operations before the new federal fiscal year begins on October 1. And, the House is likely to continue to grapple on whether and/or how to advance major bills the Senate adopted over the summer, including immigration reform and the farm bill. [more]
6-20-2013 House Adopts Child Support Bill Implementing Hague Treaty: The House of Representatives adopted the International Child Support Recovery Act (H.R. 1896) on June 18. Adopted by a vote of 394-27, the bill would implement the Hague Convention Treaty to improve the enforcement of international child support cases. In a floor statement urging support for the legislation, House Ways and Means Human Resources Subcommittee Chairman Dave Reichert (R-WA) noted NCSEA’s support and inserted NCSEA’s letter of support into the Congressional Record. The House adopted a similar measure one year ago. House members urged the Senate to consider the bill. [more]
5-10-2013 House Re-Introduces Bill to Implement Hague Convention Treaty: Members of the House Ways and Means Committee have re-introduced the International Child Support Recovery Improvement Act (H.R. 1896). Supported by NCSEA which testified before the Committee in 2012, the bipartisan bill mirrors the measure that the House of Representatives adopted last year. The measure would implement the Hague Convention Treaty to improve the enforcement of international child support cases. Ways and Means staff have indicated to NCSEA that the timing for considering the bill has yet to be determined. Last year’s adoption of this bipartisan bill does indicate, however, that the measure has a very good chance of moving once again in the House. [more]
4-17-2013 Update from Capitol Hill: Last week, the Obama Administration released its federal fiscal year 2014 budget proposals. NCSEA prepared a synopsis of the child support budget which may be found here. In short, the budget continues to support program activities and re-proposes reforms that were not considered by Congress last year. [more]
3-6-2013 Update from Capitol Hill: On March 1, the across-the-board cuts to domestic discretionary programs were triggered. How long the cuts will remain in force is uncertain, and the immediate effects on any given program also are unclear, given the different spending and allocation patterns of federal programs. As an entitlement, the child support program is protected from the sequester, but other child support grants, federal staffing and associated federal travel may be affected, depending upon available resources and the duration of the sequester. [more]
10-05-2012 Sequester Report Released: The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) released its report to Congress on the effect of the across-the-board cuts should Congress and the administration fail to craft an alternative deficit reduction package.
OMB determined that the child support enforcement (CSE) program would NOT be subject to the cuts. CSE joins other entitlements such as Medicaid, SNAP, IV-E, TANF, and SSI as programs protected from the cuts which will occur on January 2, 2013 if no agreement is reached on an alternative.
Each domestic program subject to sequester would be cut from 7.6% for mandatory programs not subject to the appropriations process (e.g., SSBG) to 8.2% for all other discretionary programs.
The determination was made in the OMB Report Pursuant to the Sequestration Transparency Act of 2012 (P. L. 112–155)
3-20-2012: NCSEA testifies at Subcommittee on Human Resources of the Committee on Ways and Means hearing on no-Cost improvements to child support enforcement
Testimony was delivered by NCSEA at today’s Subcommittee on Human Resources of the Committee on Ways and Means hearing. During the hearing on no-cost improvements to the child support enforcement program (CSE), Kay Farley and Marilyn Stephen testified regarding implementation of the Hague Convention. Read more in the full press release and the hearing testimonies by Kay Farley and Marilyn Stephen.
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