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DEPARTMENTS OF LABOR, HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES, AND EDUCATION, AND RELATED AGENCIES APPROPRIATIONS FOR FISCAL YEAR 1992

THURSDAY, MARCH 7, 1991

U.S. SENATE,
SUBCOMMITTEE OF THE COMMITTEE ON APPROPRIATIONS,

Washington, DC. The subcommittee met at 10:02 a.m., in room SD-192, Dirksen Senate Office Building, Hon. Tom Harkin (chairman) presiding.

Present: Senators Harkin, Specter, and Gorton.

DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES

FAMILY SUPPORT ADMINISTRATION STATEMENT OF HON. JO ANNE B. BARNHART, ASSISTANT SECRETARY ACCOMPANIED BY: NORM THOMPSON, DEPUTY ASSOCIATE ADMINISTRATOR, OFFICE

OF FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT DENNIS P. WILLIAMS, DEPUTY ASSISTANT SECRETARY, BUDGET,

DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES

OPENING REMARKS OF SENATOR HARKIN

Senator HARKIN. The Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, and Related Agencies will come to order.

This morning we will hear testimony in support of the budget requests for the Family Support Administration, the Office of Human Development Services, and the Office of Inspector General.

We will begin by considering the request for the Family Support Administration. The bulk of the budget here is for entitlement programs, most notably aid to families with dependent children and child support enforcement. In total, the mandatory funding request for 1992 is $12.8 billion or 91 percent of the agency's total request. Needless to say, this subcommittee's focus is primarily on the discretionary programs which total a mere $1.155 billion or 9 percent of the fiscal year 1992 request.

For the last decade, the President's budget requests for discretionary programs under this jurisdiction have been remarkably consistent: freeze, cut, or eliminate. This year's request fits that pattern: freeze refugee assistance, cut low-income home energy assistance, and eliminate the community services block grant.

The only program where you have been successful at least partially in achieving the administration's objectives of freeze, cut, or

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eliminate has been the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program, although during the 2 years that I have chaired this subcommittee, this slide has been reversed. One notable change in the request is to eliminate all fiscal year 1992 funding for the State legalization impact assistance grants rather than just cutting back, as has been proposed in past years.

Only the entitlement programs of AFDC and child support enforcement are growing. În fiscal year 1992 these programs would grow by 8.3 percent.

The discretionary programs, on the other hand, would be cut by 57 percent. Child care block grants, an important new discretionary program, would be administered this year by the Family Support Administration. Although authorized at $825 million in 1992, the administration has chosen to freeze funding at the $731 million level that we have provided last year for the first year of implementation.

Ms. Barnhart, I understand you have been working diligently with many organizations and child care providers in the

field to get this new program started most effectively. You are to be commended for these promising early developments. While I understand you are still in the process of developing regulations, it is my hope there will be a strong emphasis on child development and quality of care issues for all of the child care programs that you administer.

At this point, I will turn to Senator Specter for any opening statement he would like to make.

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OPENING REMARKS OF SENATOR SPECTER

Senator SPECTER. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman. I just saw Chairman Harkin at the Subcommittee on Defense appropriations and told him that I would be right along. I wanted to come and join the chairman in welcoming the witnesses here today as we proceed with our subcommittee hearings.

I have to go now to a Judiciary Executive Committee meeting, where we have a loaded agenda. I will do my very best to rejoin you if I can later this morning.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

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INTRODUCTION OF ASSOCIATES Senator HARKIN. We appreciate that. Thank you very much, Senator Specter.

Ms. Barnhart, again welcome back to the subcommittee. You might for the record introduce your associates who are here and, again, please proceed as you so desire with your statement.

Ms. BARNHART. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I am joined today by Norm Thompson, who is the Deputy Director of our Office of Financial Management, and by Dennis Williams, who is Deputy Assistant Secretary for Budget with the Department.

Mr. Chairman, I am very pleased to be here and have this opportunity to speak with you and members of the committee. I am pleased to have this opportunity to present the President's budget request for the Family Support Administration for fiscal year 1992. The Family Support Administration as a part of the Department

of HHS is responsible for programs that help some of the most vulnerable people in our society.

For example, we help needy families with a single parent or an unemployed parent who require public assistance to support their children; low-income families who need help with the cost of child care in order to work; and single parents who are unable to make ends meet without financial support from the noncustodial parent.

We also help refugees to our shores who need a helping hand to start a new life here; U.S. citizens and their dependents who have come home from abroad as a result of war, or the threat of war, and are temporarily without money; and, finally, low-income families who need help to pay their heating bills.

Funds appropriated by Congress for the Family Support Administration allow State and local governments and other organizations to carry out a variety of programs to help these vulnerable people.

BUDGET REQUESTS The President's request for the Family Support Administration totals $18.4 billion in budget authority. Let me briefly summarize the programs that are covered by that request.

We are asking for $15.2 billion for family support payments to States. This account funds several major entitlement programs, as you mentioned, Mr. Chairman. The largest of these is aid to families with dependent children, or AFDC, which provides cash assistance to low-income families who are not yet self-sufficient. We estimate needing $12.3 billion for this program.

We estimate we will need $3.2 billion to provide funds for State and local administration of both the AFDC and the Child Support Enforcement Program and for child support enforcement incentive payments to States.

The Child Support Enforcement Program helps establish and enforce support orders, providing essential financial assistance to custodial parents. We estimate that we will collect over $1 billion in child support payments on behalf of AFDC recipients that will help to offset Federal moneys that are spent on AFDC payments.

We estimate that we will spend $1 million in fiscal year 1992 to provide repatriation for American citizens and dependents who have returned from foreign countries as a result of illness, destitution, or war crises.

Funding for several child care assistance programs are included in this account as well. We estimate we will need $433 million in fiscal year 1992 for child care for current AFDC recipients who are participating in the JOBS Program and for former recipients who have left AFDC because of employment or increased earnings and need transitional help with child care expenses.

In addition, we estimate a requirement of $300 million to fund child care for families at risk of becoming AFDC recipients unless they can obtain help to meet child care expenses.

We are requesting close to $745 million for the child care and development block grants and the child care licensing improvement grant programs. These grants to States are to help low-income working families pay for child care and related services, to improve the availability and quality of child care, to improve child care reg

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istration and licensing procedures, and to train child care providers. This is a new account for FSA brought about by OBRA 90, and it complements the other FSA-administered child care programs funded under the Family Support payments to States accounts.

We are requesting $1 billion for the JOBS Program. This is the Job Opportunities and Basic Skills Training Program. The Family Support Act of 1988 created the JOBS Program to help people move from welfare dependency to self-sufficiency. JOBS provides needy families with a vast array of education, training, employment, and supportive services to avoid long-term dependence on welfare. JOBS represents a refreshing change in the way we view welfare by providing temporary cash assistance while we help people become self-sufficient for the long term.

Fiscal years 1991 and 1992 are critical years for implementation of the JOBS Program. All States have initiated JOBS programs as of October 1, 1990, I am pleased to report, and by October 1, 1992, statewide coverage of those programs is required in most cases.

We are requesting just over $1 billion for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program, or LIHEAP, in order to continue our commitment to helping States assist low-income families with high heating or cooling bills. We request that you continue at a level of $100 million the contingency fund that Congress established last year. This energy contingency fund would be available if heating oil prices dramatically increase.

We are requesting $410.6 million for the Refugee and Entrant Assistance Program, which helps refugees and Cuban and Haitian entrants become employed as quickly as possible and during their initial period in the United States helps to offset costs that would otherwise be borne by State and local governments.

We are requesting $10.8 million for the National Youth Sports Program under the community services authorization. This program motivates economically disadvantaged youth to earn and learn self-respect through a program of sports instruction and related services.

We are requesting that funds for the Interim Assistance to States for Legalization Grant Program, which Congress deferred until fiscal year 1992, be rescinded. By the end of fiscal year 1991, $2.4 billion will have been made available to States for this program. To date, States have drawn down only one-half of that amount. The remaining $1.2 billion available to States from current and prior years' appropriations is sufficient to fulfill the purpose for this program.

Finally, we are requesting $87.5 million for the program administration appropriation. This includes $6.5 million for research and evaluation and $81 million for salaries and administrative expenses of Federal staff who oversee the many programs for which we are responsible.

The 1992 request for this appropriation includes an increase of $3.8 million and 17 FTE's above the 1991 level. Mr. Chairman, I sincerely believe that this modest increase is necessary if we are to wisely manage the additional program responsibilities that FSA has been given in the last few years.

Mr. Chairman and members of the committee, in proposing this budget we have attempted to target those programs that will con

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tribute most directly to promoting the goal of self-sufficiency for American families. The Family Support Administration is working hard to insure that we responsibly use this funding to support and assist America's most vulnerable families. We want the JOBS and child care programs to fulfill your expectations for reducing welfare dependency, and we believe that they can.

We are working to be good stewards of grant money that you have made available. Your approval of the President's requested funding levels for our programs and our administrative expenses will provide resources to help us accomplish these goals.

PREPARED STATEMENT

That concludes my formal statement, Mr. Chairman, and I would be pleased to try to answer any questions you or other members of the committee might have at this time.

[The statement follows:)

STATEMENT OF JO ANNE B. BARNHART Mr. Chairman and Members of the Committee: Thank you for the opportunity to speak with you today. I am pleased to be here to present the President's budget request for the Family Support Administration for fiscal year 1992. The Family Support Administration, as a part of the Department of Health and Human Services is responsible for programs that help some of the most vulnerable people in our soci. ety. For example: needy families with a single parent or an unemployed parent, who require public assistance to support their

children; low-income families who need help with the cost of child care in order to work; single parents who are unable to make ends meet without financial support from the non-custodial parent; refugees to our shores who need a helping hand to start a new life here; U.S. citizens and their dependents who have to come home from abroad as a result of war, or the threat of war, and are temporarily without money; and, low income families who need help to pay their heating bills.

Funds appropriated by Congress to the Family Support Administration allow State governments, local governments, and other organizations to carry out a variety of programs to help these vulnerable people.

The President's request for the Family Support Administration totals $18.4 billion in budget authority. Let me briefly summarize the programs covered by that request:

We are asking for $15.2 billion for Family Support Payments to States: This account funds several major entitlement programs. The largest of these is Aid to Families with Dependent Children or AFDC which provides cash assistance to low-income families who are not yet self-sufficient. We estimate needing $12.3 billion for this

program. We estimate that we will need $3.2 billion to provide funds for State and local administration of both the AFDC and Child Support Enforcement (CSE) programs and for child support enforcement incentive payments to States. The Child Support Enforcement program helps establish and enforce support orders, providing essential financial assistance to custodial parents. We estimate that we will collect over $1 billion in child support payments on behalf of AFDC recipients that will help to offset federal moneys spent on AFDC payments.

We estimate that we will spend $1 million in fiscal year 1992 to provide repatriation for American citizens and dependents who have returned from foreign countries as a result of illness, destitution or war crises.

Funding for several child care assistance programs are included in this account as well. We estimate that we will need $433 million in fiscal year 1992 for child care for current AFDC recipients who are participating in the Job Opportunities and Basic Skills or JOBS program and for former recipients who have left AFDC because of employment or increased earnings and need transitional help with child care expenses.

In addition, we estimate a requirement of $300 million to fund child care for families at risk of becoming AFDC recipients unless they can obtain help to meet child care expenses.

We are requesting close to $745 million for the Child Care and Development Block Grant and Child Care Licensing Improvement Grant Programs: These grants to

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