Today, Committee on Ways and Means Human Resources Subcommittee Member Congressman Berg (R-ND), Ranking Member Doggett (D-TX), along with Chairman Davis (R-KY) and all of the Members of the Human Resources Subcommittee introduced the "International Child Support Recovery Improvement Act of 2012." The legislation, which incorporates recommendations offered at a recent Subcommittee hearing on child support enforcement, makes a number of no-cost improvements to the State-administered child support enforcement program designed to improve child support collections.
At the introduction of the legislation Congressman Berg stated, "In taking the next step toward ratifying the Hague Convention, we will empower states, which operate the Child Support Enforcement program, to do more to help families and children and ensure they have the same access to financial support even when one parent lives outside the country. As we heard at our hearing, it is now Congress' turn to act to make this possible."
Ranking Member Doggett commented: "This legislation will help ensure that borders don't become barriers to children receiving the financial support their parents are obligated to provide. It does right by children and saves taxpayers' dollars."
The "International Child Support Recovery Improvement Act of 2012" serves as the implementing legislation for the Hague Convention on International Recovery of Child Support and Other Forms of Family Maintenance. This multilateral treaty, consented to by the Senate in 2010, provides for the structured exchange of information and consistent enforcement of international cases of child support.
The bill builds on the Subcommittee's recent bipartisan efforts to standardize data within and across social programs. This includes applying the same data standardization provisions recently enacted in the child welfare, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), and unemployment insurance programs. Finally, the bill will allow researchers expanded access to data in the child support program's National Directory of New Hires for use in evaluating whether Federal reemployment programs are working as intended.
The Obama Administration is expected to support this legislation.