No: 108-1
Date: February 21, 2003

House Passes H.R. 4, the "Personal Responsibility, Work, and Family Promotion Act of 2003"

On February 13, 2003, the House of Representatives passed H.R. 4, the "Personal Responsibility, Work, and Family Promotion Act of 2003," by a vote of 230 to 192. The legislation reauthorizes the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program and makes a number of revisions in existing child care and child welfare demonstration programs and child support enforcement. H.R. 4 is virtually identical to H.R. 4737, the "Personal Responsibility, Work, and Family Promotion Act of 2002," which passed the House on May 16, 2002.

Following are provisions in H.R. 4 that would affect SSA-administered programs:

Review of State Agency SSI Blindness and Disability Determinations

Would require SSA to review SSI blindness and disability allowances before effectuating payments. The provision would be phased in. In fiscal year 2004, the requirement would be 20 percent, with a 40 percent review requirement in fiscal year 2005. In fiscal year 2006 and in subsequent years, the SSI preeffectuation review requirement would be the same as the current disability insurance requirement, that is, 50 percent of allowances would be reviewed. The provision would be effective upon enactment.

Improving Federal Debt Collection Practices for Child Support Debts

Would extend debt-collection authority under the Treasury Offset Program (TOP) to State child-support debts. Under current law, the TOP process is authorized only for Federal debts, e.g. student loans, unpaid taxes, or OASDI benefits. Thus, the provision would have the effect of allowing the offset of OASDI benefits for purposes of collecting State child-support debt. The provision would be effective on October 1, 2004.