EXECUTIVE OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENT
OFFICE OF MANAGEMENT AND BUDGET
WASHINGTON, D.C. 20503
STATEMENT OF ADMINISTRATION POLICY
(THIS STATEMENT HAS BEEN COORDINATED BY OMB WITH THE CONCERNED AGENCIES.)
November 10, 1999
H.R. 3073 - Fathers Count Act of 1999
(Rep. Johnson (R) CT and 14 Cosponsors)
The Administration supports House passage of H.R. 3073. The President is deeply committed to helping parents of low-income children work and honor their responsibilities to support their children. H.R. 3073 is an important step in this direction.
The Administration especially is pleased that H.R. 3073 would incorporate critically needed changes to the Welfare-to-Work program's eligibility requirements to allow it to serve more effectively both non-custodial parents of low-income children and hard-to-employ welfare recipients. In addition, the Administration is pleased that H.R. 3073 would establish an alternative penalty that is tough, but fair for States that have not implemented certain child support enforcement requirements. The Administration, however, is concerned that the bill would:
- Allow the use of maintenance-of-effort funds from the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program toward the required non-Federal match for receiving fatherhood grants. As a matter of principle, State expenditures should not be "double-counted" for the purposes of receiving distinct Federal funds. The Administration urges that the bill be amended to preclude this practice.
- Establish Fatherhood Grants Recommendations Panels that include congressional appointees. While the Administration welcomes vigorous oversight of its activities, the review and awarding of grants is a core Executive branch function. This provision should be deleted.
The Administration continues to urge the Congress to fully reauthorize, with additional resources, the Welfare-to-Work program. This program is already investing over $350 million in projects helping non-custodial parents of children on welfare to work and support their families. Additional investments in this effort, with the eligibility changes contained in H.R. 3073, are essential to addressing the Nation-wide need for fatherhood employment programs, while promoting long-term economic self-sufficiency for the hardest-to-employ welfare recipients.
The Administration looks forward to working with the Congress to address its concerns and enact legislation to help children get the support they need from both their parents. In addition, the Administration will work as H.R. 3073 moves through the Congress to ensure that the bill includes appropriate offsets for the bill's direct spending and revenue provisions and ensure that the current level of privacy safeguards continues to be included in any data matching activities.
H.R. 3073 would affect direct spending and receipts; therefore, it is subject to the pay-as-you-go requirement of the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1990. The Office of Management and Budget's preliminary scoring estimate for the bill indicates that it would reduce Federal net direct spending in FY 2000 by $903 million and by a total of $934 million during FYs 2000 through 2004.