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
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.