Reichert and Doggett Introduce Bipartisan Legislation to Improve Child Support Collections
Washington, DC – Yesterday, Committee on Ways and Means Human Resources Subcommittee Chairman Dave Reichert (R-WA) and Ranking Member Lloyd Doggett (D-TX), along with other Members of the Human Resources Subcommittee, introduced H.R. 1896, the International Child Support Recovery Improvement Act of 2013. The bipartisan legislation mirrors legislation that unanimously passed the House on June 5, 2012 by voice vote and makes a number of no-cost improvements to the State-administered child support enforcement program designed to improve child support collections especially in cases that stretch across international borders.
On the introduction of the legislation, Chairman Reichert stated: “Enforcement of child support orders should not end at the water’s edge. Children, regardless of where they or their parents live, should receive financial support from their parents. The introduction of this bill takes the next step toward ratifying the Hague Convention so that State and local child support enforcement officials have access to the necessary tools to make international enforcement possible.”
Ranking Member Doggett commented: “This legislation will help ensure that borders don’t become barriers to children receiving the financial support their parents are obligated to provide. It does right by children and saves taxpayers’ dollars. I look forward to working together to again pass this legislation in the House and hope that the Senate will act upon it quickly so it can be signed into law.”
Other Members of the Human Resources Subcommittee cosponsoring the legislation include: John Lewis (D-GA), Charles Boustany (R-LA), Joe Crowley (D-NY), Tom Reed (R-NY), Todd Young (R-IN), Mike Kelly (R-PA), Tim Griffin (R-AR), and Jim Renacci (R-OH).
The International Child Support Recovery Improvement Act of 2013 is nearly identical to H.R. 4282, which passed the House by voice vote on June 5, 2012. This bill serves as the implementing legislation for the Hague Convention on International Recovery of Child Support and Other Forms of Family Maintenance. This multilateral treaty, to which the Senate provided its consent in 2010, provides for the structured exchange of information and consistent enforcement of international cases of child support.
The bill also builds on the Subcommittee’s recent bipartisan efforts to standardize data within and across social programs. This includes applying to the child support enforcement program the same no-cost data standardization provisions recently enacted in the child welfare, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), and unemployment insurance programs. Finally, the bill will allow researchers expanded access to data in the child support program’s National Directory of New Hires for use in evaluating whether Federal reemployment programs are working as intended.
Overall, the legislation is expected to yield savings of nearly $500,000 over 10 years by improving the recovery of child support payments. The Obama Administration is expected to support this legislation.