Senators have introduced two bipartisan bills over the last several weeks to provide additional collection tools for child support agencies. In December, Senate Finance Committee Chair Charles Grassley (R-IA) and Ranking Member Ron Wyden (D-OR) introduced the Increasing Opportunity for Former Foster Youth Act (S. 3025). Senate staff worked closely with NCSEA when drafting the child support provisions. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) also supports the legislation. The NCSEA-supported measure (see NCSEA’s letter of support here) would help child support agencies locate those who owe child support by requiring reporting of basic information on independent contractors, allow HHS to transmit requests directly to financial institutions at the request of a state, and reduce the burden on small banks by allowing them to access the existing multi-state system used today by larger banks to identify those who owe child support.
In early January, Senators John Thune (R-SD) and Ron Wyden (D-OR) introduced the Tribal Child Support Enforcement Act (S. 3154). Long sought by the National Tribal Child Support Association, the National Association of Tribal Child Support Directors and NCSEA, the bill would give tribal governments equal and direct access to the Federal Tax Refund Offset Program and other resources to locate parents while ensuring that all Internal Revenue Service confidentiality safeguards are met. NCSEA sent a letter of support (see NCSEA’s letter of support here) and was quoted in the press releases issued by the Senate sponsors.