Congressman Geoff Davis (R-KY), Chairman of the Subcommittee on Human Resources of the Committee on Ways and Means, announced today that the Subcommittee will hold a hearing on no-cost improvements to the child support enforcement (CSE) program. The hearing will take place on Tuesday, March 20, 2012 in 1100 Longworth House Office Building, beginning at 2:00 P.M.
In view of the limited time available to hear witnesses, oral testimony at this hearing will be from invited witnesses only. Witnesses will include state child support enforcement officials and other experts. However, any individual or organization not scheduled for an oral appearance may submit a written statement for consideration by the Committee and for inclusion in the printed record of the hearing.
The CSE program was created in 1975 in order to reduce public expenditures on welfare by obtaining support from noncustodial parents on an ongoing basis and to help non-welfare families get support so they could stay off public assistance. Today, this State-administered program has grown to serve all families that request services and is estimated to handle 50 to 60 percent of all child support cases. States and Territories receive over $4 billion annually in Federal administrative funds, which covers approximately two-thirds of the total cost of operating the CSE program. In FY 2010, the CSE program collected $26.6 billion in child support payments and served nearly 15.9 million child support cases. However, the program collects only 62 percent of current child support obligations for which it has responsibility.
In 2007, the United States was party to the Hague Convention on the International Recovery of Child Support and Other Forms of Family Maintenance. The Hague Convention aims to increase cooperation among nations for the international recovery of child support and other forms of family assistance. In order for the United States to fully ratify the Convention, Congress must approve and the President must sign implementing legislation that would amend Title IV-D of the Social Security Act and require States to update their child support laws by adopting amendments to the Uniform Interstate Family Support Act (UIFSA). This implementing legislation, which is designed to improve child support recovered in international cases, is expected to result in no additional State or Federal program costs.
Beyond the Hague Convention, other no-cost improvements to the CSE program expected to be reviewed in the hearing include improving data and information exchange among state courts and human services organizations, as well as expanding researcher access to the National Directory of New Hires (a database under the authority of the CSE program) in order to improve the evaluation of employment programs.
In announcing the hearing, Chairman Geoff Davis (R-KY) stated, “Ratification of the Hague Convention will mean that more children living in the United States will receive the financial support they deserve, even when one parent lives in another country. In addition, given the number of agencies involved in this issue, it is critical for technology to keep pace so families receive the support they need. This hearing will review several simple, no-cost ways of improving child support programs to achieve those goals, which I am hopeful Congress will pass in the near future.”
FOCUS OF THE HEARING:
The hearing will focus on the implementing legislation for the Hague Convention on the International Recovery of Child Support and Other Forms of Family Maintenance and related CSE improvements.
DETAILS FOR SUBMISSION OF WRITTEN COMMENTS:
Please Note: Any person(s) and/or organization(s) wishing to submit for the hearing record must follow the appropriate link on the hearing page of the Committee website and complete the informational forms. From the Committee homepage, https://waysandmeans.house.gov, select “Hearings.” Select the hearing for which you would like to submit, and click on the link entitled, “Click here to provide a submission for the record.” Once you have followed the online instructions, submit all requested information. Attach your submission as a Word document, in compliance with the formatting requirements listed below, by the close of business on Tuesday, April 3, 2012. Finally, please note that due to the change in House mail policy, the U.S. Capitol Police will refuse sealed-package deliveries to all House Office Buildings. For questions, or if you encounter technical problems, please call (202) 225-1721 or (202) 225-3625.
The Committee relies on electronic submissions for printing the official hearing record. As always, submissions will be included in the record according to the discretion of the Committee. The Committee will not alter the content of your submission, but we reserve the right to format it according to our guidelines. Any submission provided to the Committee by a witness, any supplementary materials submitted for the printed record, and any written comments in response to a request for written comments must conform to the guidelines listed below. Any submission or supplementary item not in compliance with these guidelines will not be printed, but will be maintained in the Committee files for review and use by the Committee.
- All submissions and supplementary materials must be provided in Word format and MUST NOT exceed a total of 10 pages, including attachments. Witnesses and submitters are advised that the Committee relies on electronic submissions for printing the official hearing record
- Copies of whole documents submitted as exhibit material will not be accepted for printing. Instead, exhibit material should be referenced and quoted or paraphrased. All exhibit material not meeting these specifications will be maintained in the Committee files for review and use by the Committee.
- All submissions must include a list of all clients, persons, and/or organizations on whose behalf the witness appears. A supplemental sheet must accompany each submission listing the name, company, address, telephone, and fax numbers of each witness.
The Committee seeks to make its facilities accessible to persons with disabilities. If you are in need of special accommodations, please call 202-225-1721 or 202-226-3411 TTD/TTY in advance of the event (four business days notice is requested). Questions with regard to special accommodation needs in general (including availability of Committee materials in alternative formats) may be directed to the Committee as noted above.
Note: All Committee advisories and news releases are available on the World Wide Web at http://www.waysandmeans.house.gov/.