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(AFTERNOON SESSION, 1:18 P.M., WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 7, 1990) DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES
FAMILY SUPPORT ADMINISTRATION
STATEMENT OF EUNICE S. THOMAS, ACTING ASSISTANT SECRETARY ACCOMPANIED BY MICHAEL L. STURMAN, ASSOCIATE ADMINISTRATOR
FOR FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT
OFFICE OF HUMAN DEVELOPMENT SERVICES
STATEMENT OF MARY SHEILA GALL, ASSISTANT SECRETARY ACCOMPANIED BY ROBERT STOVENOUR, DIRECTOR, OFFICE OF MAN
Senator HARKIN. The subcommittee will come to order. We will start where we left off and do the Family Support Administration, followed by the Office of Human Development Services and then the HHS Inspector General. We will then proceed to the Health Care Financing Administration and the Social Security Administration.
We have a lot of ground to cover this afternoon. So, I hope we can all be brief and to the point. I would ask that the statements not be read but summarized and that two or three or four points be made, whatever you think is most important for us to consider.
We will hear testimony first from Eunice Thomas, Acting Assistant Secretary of the Family Support Administration, and then next we will hear from Mary Gall, Assistant Secretary for Human Development Services.
Welcome both. Your statements will be made a part of the record in their entirety.
And I ask you to please proceed, Eunice.
Ms. THOMAS. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. Chairman and members of the committee, I am pleased to be here today to talk about the fiscal year 1991 Family Support Administration (FSA] budget.
I would like to summarize briefly the priorities of the Family Support Administration's budget and President Bush's budget. These include continuing to maintain support for the Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) and Child Support Enforcement (CSE) Programs, and implementation of the welfare reform provisions included in the Family Support Act of 1988.
We continue to emphasize the protection of those most in need as a priority. Under the AFDC program, full funding will maintain benefits to approximately 3.9 million families. At the same time, our investment of $1.2 billion in child support enforcement will lead to $6.8 billion of collections from absent parents, an increase from estimated 1990 collections of over $900 million. More than $2 billion will be collected on behalf of AFDC families, thereby providing needy families with greater economic self-sufficiency and lowering the amount of Federal and State funds needed to meet the cost of providing assistance.
Implementation of the Family Support Act of 1988 continues to be one of our highest priorities. By October 1, 1990, all States are required to make the transition to the new education, employment, and training program for welfare recipients. This program includes reimbursement for child care and other work-related expenses, as well as extended child care and Medicaid benefits when an individual leaves the AFDC roles due to work; 27 States already have their programs in place. We are requesting the full $1 billion program authorization for fiscal year 1991.
A key element for effective implementation of this legislation is a close working relationship with the Departments of Labor and Education. In this context, I am pleased to tell you that in November 1989 a 3-year technical assistance effort to assist States and Indian tribes was jointly announced by the three Departmental Secretaries. We will urge similar coordination at State and local levels to prevent duplication and maximize the use of available resources.
Finally, we have proposed funding levels for our programs that reflect Gramm-Rudman-Hollings objectives while pursuing our overall domestic spending priorities.
In closing, let me say that this budget reflects our commitment to supporting America's families through vigorous implementation of the Family Support Act, as well as aggressive enforcement of parental responsibilities for their children's economic well-being. We believe we have struck a balance between prudently managing our scare resources and identifying opportunities for reducing Federal spending
Senator HARKIN. Thank you very much, Ms. Thomas. [The statement follows:)
STATEMENT OF EUNICE S. THOMAS
I an pleased to be here today to talk about the fiscal year 1991 Family Support Administration (FSA) budget.
I would like to summarize the FSA priorities which are presented in President Bush's budget. These include continued support for the Aid to Families with Dependent children (AFDC) and child Support Enforcement (CSE) programs, and implementation of the welfare reform provisions included in the Family Support
Act of 1988.
Our request is designed to protect those in need.
Under the AFDC program, full funding will maintain
benefits to approximately 3.9 million families.
the same time, our investment of $1.2 billion in
child support enforcement will lead to $6.8 billion
of collections from non-custodial parents.
represents an increase from estimated 1990
collections of over $900 million, or 16 percent.
More than $2 billion will be collected on behalf of
AFDC families. This money provides needy families with greater economic self-sufficiency, assures the financial responsibility of natural parents toward their children, helps to forestall welfare
dependency, and offsets part of the cost of public
Implementation of the Family Support Act of 1988 continues to be one of our highest priorities. Το
date, 27 states have made the transition to the new
Job Opportunities and Basic Skills Training (JOBS)
education, training, and work activities. In addition, Federal funds will be used to reimburse States for child care costs and other work-related
the full authorized level, for JOBS program costs,
plus $489 million for related child care costs.
A key element for effective implementation of this legislation will be a close working relationship
and coordinated action with other Departments, such
as Labor, Education and Interior.
In this context,
I am pleased to be able to report to you that at a
November national conference on the JOBS program,
three Departmental Secretaries (Health and Human
Services, Labor and Education) announced a three year technical assistance effort to assist States
and Indian Tribes.
We will urge that the same
coordination efforts take place at the State and local levels in order to prevent duplication and to maximize the use of all available resources.
Increasing child support collections is another effective way to help families become or remain self-sufficient. The Family Support Act strengthens the child Support Enforcement program by requiring States to establish guidelines in setting the level of child support awards and by providing for periodic review of the appropriateness of such awards.
FSA's programs for low-income home energy assistance, aid for newly legalized aliens, refugee assistance, and community services all fall within the nondefense spending category. Accordingly, proposed funding levels for these programs in FY 1991 are in consonance with the overall domestic spending priorities which have been established over the past several
The budget includes $1.05 billion for the Low
Income Home Energy Assistance program (LIHEAP).
of low-income households
in conjunction with
other Federal programs.
For Refugee and Entrant Assistance, the budget
request is $369 million, the same level as the 1990
appropriation. This request is based on, and is consistent with, the State Department's estimate that 110,000 federally-funded refugees will be
admitted into the United States during FY 1991.
Funding for FY 1991 maintains the FY 1990 level of
State subsidies for AFDC and Medicaid costs
incurred in providing assistance to eligible
share of categorical assistance costs (AFDC and
continue the current 12 months of eligibility for non-categorical refugees. While the number of