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Final Vote: Fighting Childhood Poverty Act

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IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

 

Mr. Seymour (for himself, Mr. Tilsley, Mr. Lawson, Mr. Augustus King, and Mr. Blackstone, with thanks to Mr. Rangel) introduced the following bill;

A BILL

 

To combat childhood poverty and enhance economic opportunities for all Americans.

 

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,


SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

 This Act may be cited as the “Fighting Childhood Poverty Act”.

SECTION 2. FINDINGS.

(a) According to the Congressional Budget Office, children make up the largest single group among the poor in this country, and their numbers grew sharply between 1979 and 1983.

(b) 59% of children in poverty belong to families that experience short-term working poverty, with 14% of children in poverty belonging to families that experience long-term working poverty. The remaining 28% of children in poverty belong to families that experience non-working poverty.

(c) The United States has a number of underfunded programs aimed at reducing poverty. The aim of these policies must be to encourage families to move out of poverty through work and to break the cycle of inter-generational poverty.

 

SECTION 3. TAX INCENTIVES TO FIGHT POVERTY.

(a) The Targeted Jobs Tax Credit, which is due to lapse on December 31, 1989, is hereby extended until December 31, 1991.

(b) For income tax payers who fall below the federal poverty level, the maximum allowable value of the dependent care tax credit is expanded:

(i) for one child, from $2400 to $3000; and

(ii) for two or more children, from $4800 to $6000.

 

SECTION 4. MANDATORY MEDICAID EXPANSION FOR POOR CHILDREN.

All children (approximately 700,000) and pregnant women (approximately 100,000) in families with incomes below 65 50 percent of the federal poverty level are hereby statutorily covered under Medicaid.

 

SECTION 5. APPROPRIATIONS.

(a) There is hereby appropriated $100 million for the Job Training Partnership Act, earmarked for recipients of Aid to Families with Dependent Children (allowing for the training of approximately 50,000 welfare recipients).

(b) There is hereby appropriated $250 million for an additional 100,000 eligible children to participate in the Head Start early education program.

 

SECTION 6. AFDC EXPERIMENTATION GRANTS.

(a) There is established, in the Department of Health and Human Services, the Aid to Families with Dependent Children Experimentation and Improvement Grant.

(b) The Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services shall make annual grants to states with an approved AFDC plan so that such states can carry out special programs, projects, and experiments designed to reduce the dependency of individuals and families who are eligible for AFDC. The grants established under subsection (a) of this section shall be used for:

(i) a supported work or diversion program for long-term adult recipients of such aid and other persons who have difficulty finding and obtaining employment;

(ii) work experiments aimed at easing the transition of such individuals and families to jobs in the private sector;

(iii) projects emphasizing the importance of additional schooling, job training, and other services; and

(iv) other projects likely to reduce dependency.

(c) No state shall use a grant under this section to mandatorily impose a work requirement upon recipients of AFDC. However, a state may issue incentives for AFDC recipients to engage in work in exchange for AFDC benefits.

(d) A state is required to submit a plan which the Secretary approves before a grant will be made, and a recipient state is required to report to the Secretary on the use of the grant, including the effects of the experimentation or improvement project.

(e) $50 million is hereby appropriated to the Department of Health and Human Services for the purposes of this section and issuing of grants.

 

Reference:

Section 3 et seq.

Section 6

 

Estimated Total Cost:

Per CBO, $1.25 billion per year (not accounting for Section 3(b)).

 

 

 

 

48 Hours to Vote

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Bill passes 238-197 (all votes cast after the ending time, or changed after that time, are discounted)

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The bill passes the Senate by a vote of 66-34.

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