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Republicans Face Off With Obama Over Child Support

House Republicans introduced a bill Tuesday to stop the Obama administration from undermining child support.

“Late last year, the administration released a far-reaching proposed rule that would overturn a number of bedrock principles of child support enforcement and welfare reform, among them that parents should be financially responsible for their children,” a press release from the House Ways and Means Committee stated. “The measure would stop the administration from finalizing or implementing any feature of the proposed rule, which would make unprecedented changes to current child support policies and laws.”

The bill was introduced by Committee Chairman Paul Ryan and Rep. Charles Boustany along with Republican Senate leaders Orrin Hatch and John Cornyn.

“This bill is simple,” Ryan said in a statement. “It insists that the administration work with—not around—Congress to enact its child-support policy priorities.”

The measure hopes to counter a 2014 proposed rule change designed to make the Child Support Enforcement program better aligned with a 2011 executive order by the president. Republicans warn the rule change could make it easier for some people to avoid paying child support.

“Last year the administration issued a proposed rule that, if made final in its current form, would make it easier for non-custodial parents to evade paying child support,” Hatch noted. “A move that could potentially force some American families to go on welfare. Deadbeat parents, not hardworking taxpayers, should be held accountable for their financial responsibilities.”

However, in their Notice Of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM), the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services along with the Children and Families Administration argue the rule change will be beneficial.

“The NPRM proposes revisions to make Child Support Enforcement program operations and enforcement procedures more flexible, more effective, and more efficient by recognizing the strength of existing state enforcement programs, advancements in technology that can enable improved collection rates, and the move toward electronic communication and document management,” the agencies noted.

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