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. The legislation includes an NCSEA-supported provision implementing the Hague Treaty and NCSEA has weighed in on other sections of the bill. NCSEA staff have been visiting Senate offices to educate staff on the importance of the child support program and to urge, at a minimum, that the House and Senate enact into law the bipartisan provisions shared by both the House-passed bill (H.R. 1896) and the pending Senate measure.
Meanwhile, last month the House adopted a separate piece of legislation addressing the sex trafficking of youth. Within that measure (H.R. 4058) is an Obama administration-supported provision mandating that all states electronically process child support income withholding orders. According to a Ways and Means Committee fact sheet, 30 states process orders electronically. The provision would take effect in three years — on October 1, 2017. The Senate does not have a similar provision.