Home > 106th Congressional Bills > H.R. 1802 (rfs) To amend part E of title IV of the Social Security Act to provide States with more funding and greater flexibility in carrying out programs designed to help children make the transition from foster care to self-sufficiency, and for other p...

H.R. 1802 (rfs) To amend part E of title IV of the Social Security Act to provide States with more funding and greater flexibility in carrying out programs designed to help children make the transition from foster care to self-sufficiency, and for other p...


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108th CONGRESS
  1st Session
                                H. R. 1802

 To amend the Federal Unemployment Tax Act and the Social Security Act 
to modernize the unemployment insurance system, and for other purposes.


_______________________________________________________________________


                    IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

                             April 11, 2003

 Mr. McDermott (for himself, Mr. Sanders, Ms. Norton, Mr. Nadler, Ms. 
  Carson of Indiana, Mr. Evans, Mr. Owens, Ms. Solis, Mr. Stark, Mr. 
    Kucinich, Mr. Lantos, Ms. Lee, and Mr. Frank of Massachusetts) 
 introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on 
                             Ways and Means

_______________________________________________________________________

                                 A BILL


 
 To amend the Federal Unemployment Tax Act and the Social Security Act 
to modernize the unemployment insurance system, and for other purposes.

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

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE; ETC.

    (a) Short Title.--This Act may be cited as the ``Keep America 
Working Act of 2003''.
    (b) Table of Contents.--

Sec. 1. Short title; etc.
    TITLE I--RESTORING INSURANCE ELIGIBILITY IN AN EVOLVING ECONOMY

Sec. 101. Expansion of circumstances under which unemployment 
                            compensation is payable.
Sec. 102. Expansion of unemployment tax wage base.
Sec. 103. Determinations of whether individuals are employees for 
                            purposes of employment taxes.
Sec. 104. Repeal of determination of employer's liability for certain 
                            employment taxes.
Sec. 105. Effective dates.
      TITLE II--ENCOURAGING JOB MOBILITY AND ADEQUATE COMPENSATION

Sec. 201. Separation from work due to a move relating to spouse's or 
                            domestic partner's new principal place of 
                            work not a bar to receiving unemployment 
                            compensation; replacement ratios for lower 
                            paid workers who become unemployed.
        TITLE III--ENSURING SOLVENCY AND PREPARING FOR RECESSION

Sec. 301. Increase and decrease in earnings credited to State accounts 
                            when States meet or fail to meet funding 
                            goals.
Sec. 302. Amendments to trigger provisions of extended benefit program.
Sec. 303. Eliminate special Federal eligibility requirements for 
                            extended compensation.
 TITLE IV--IMPROVING ADMINISTRATIVE FUNDING FOR THE UNEMPLOYMENT SYSTEM

Sec. 401. Funding for administration of State unemployment 
                            compensation, State systems of public 
                            employment offices and veterans employment 
                            service programs.

    TITLE I--RESTORING INSURANCE ELIGIBILITY IN AN EVOLVING ECONOMY

SEC. 101. EXPANSION OF CIRCUMSTANCES UNDER WHICH UNEMPLOYMENT 
              COMPENSATION IS PAYABLE.

    (a) In General.--Subsection (a) of section 3304 of the Internal 
Revenue Code of 1986 (relating to approval of State unemployment 
compensation laws) is amended by striking ``and'' at the end of 
paragraph (18), by redesignating paragraph (19) as paragraph (29), and 
by inserting after paragraph (18) the following new paragraphs:
            ``(19) compensation shall not be denied to an individual 
        solely because such individual is seeking only part-time work, 
        if--
                    ``(A) such individual otherwise qualifies for 
                unemployment compensation, based wholly or mostly on 
                part-time work; and
                    ``(B) the part-time work sought by such individual 
                generally requires at least 20 hours per week;
            ``(20) compensation is payable to an eligible individual in 
        an amount which is not less than the amount determined by 
        applying a base period ending at the close of the calendar 
        quarter most recently completed before the date of the 
        individual's application for benefits;
            ``(21) except as provided in paragraphs (6) and (13), 
        compensation shall not be denied in such State to any otherwise 
        eligible individual solely on the basis that such individual is 
        a seasonal worker;
            ``(22)(A) if any individual leaves employment because of 
        sexual harassment, for purposes of determining such 
        individual's eligibility for compensation for any subsequent 
        week for which such individual meets the State law requirements 
        relating to availability for work and active search for work, 
        such individual shall be treated as having left such employment 
        for good cause, and
            ``(B) for purposes of subparagraph (A), `sexual harassment' 
        shall be considered to have been shown upon the demonstration 
        of facts sufficient to establish a prima facie case that the 
        individual involved was victimized by sexual harassment in 
        violation of title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964;
            ``(23) if any individual leaves employment because of loss 
        of adequate child care for a dependent child under the age of 
        13, for purposes of determining such individual's eligibility 
        for compensation for any subsequent week for which such 
        individual meets the State law requirements relating to 
        availability for work and active search for work--
                    ``(A) such individual shall be treated as having 
                left such employment for good cause, and
                    ``(B) any failure to return to such employment or 
                to otherwise meet such State law requirements, while 
                the lack of such child care continues, shall be 
                disregarded;
            ``(24) if any individual leaves employment because the 
        individual is a victim of domestic violence, for purposes of 
        determining such individual's eligibility for compensation for 
        any subsequent week for which such individual meets the State 
        law requirements relating to availability for work and active 
        search for work--
                    ``(A) such individual shall be treated as having 
                left such employment for good cause, and
                    ``(B) any failure to return to such employment or 
                to otherwise meet such State law requirements while the 
                risk of further domestic violence is significant shall 
                be disregarded;
            ``(25) the State law provides for the distribution to 
        unemployed individuals information packets explaining 
        unemployment insurance eligibility conditions in that State;
            ``(26) the State periodically reviews and adopts the best 
        practices of other States in addressing contract and temporary 
        worker issues, including--
                    ``(A) clarifying the definitions of employee and 
                independent contractor,
                    ``(B) specifying employer liability for payroll 
                taxes,
                    ``(C) licensing, bonding, or regulating the 
                employee leasing industry, and
                    ``(D) the strategic targeting of audits;
            ``(27) compensation shall not be denied in such State to 
        any otherwise eligible individual solely on the basis that such 
        individual was employed at the applicable minimum wage for not 
        less than 20 hours a week for 30 weeks in the base period;
            ``(28) compensation is payable to any individual who is a 
        parent of a child by blood or adoption and who takes an unpaid 
        leave of absence from the employer at any time during the first 
        year after--
                    ``(A) in the case of a child by blood, the birth of 
                such child, and
                    ``(B) in the case of a child by adoption by such 
                individual, the adoption of such child; and''.
    (b) Unemployment Compensation Not Reduced by Exempt Trust 
Rollovers.--Paragraph (15) of section 3304(a) of such Code is amended 
by inserting ``(other than a rollover described in section 402(c), 
403(a)(4), 403(b)(8), 408(d)(3), or 457(e)(16))'' after ``periodic 
payment'' the first place it appears.

SEC. 102. EXPANSION OF UNEMPLOYMENT TAX WAGE BASE.

    (a) In General.--Paragraph (1) of section 3306(b) of the Internal 
Revenue Code of 1986 is amended by striking ``$7,000'' and inserting 
``the contribution and benefit base (as determined under section 230 of 
the Social Security Act)''.
    (b) Decrease in FUTA Tax Rate.--Section 3301 of such Code is 
amended by striking ``equal to--'' and all that follows through 
``thereafter;'' and inserting ``equal to 5.59 percent''.

SEC. 103. DETERMINATIONS OF WHETHER INDIVIDUALS ARE EMPLOYEES FOR 
              PURPOSES OF EMPLOYMENT TAXES.

    (a) Repeal of Prior Audit Safe Harbor With Respect to 
Determinations of Employment Status.--
            (1) In general.--Paragraph (2) of section 530(a) of the 
        Revenue Act of 1978 is amended by striking subparagraph (B) and 
        redesignating subparagraph (C) as subparagraph (B).
            (2) Conforming amendments.--Section 530(e) of such Act is 
        amended--
                    (A) in paragraph (2) by striking subparagraph (A) 
                and redesignating subparagraphs (B) and (C) as 
                subparagraphs (A) and (B), respectively,
                    (B) in paragraph (4)(B) by striking ``subparagraph 
                (A), (B), or (C)'' and inserting ``subparagraph (A) or 
                (B)''.
    (b) Repeal of Prohibition Against Regulations and Rulings on 
Employment Status.--Section 530 of the Revenue Act of 1978 is amended 
by striking subsection (b).

SEC. 104. REPEAL OF DETERMINATION OF EMPLOYER'S LIABILITY FOR CERTAIN 
              EMPLOYMENT TAXES.

    (a) In General.--Section 3509 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 
is repealed.
    (b) Clerical Amendment.--The table of sections for chapter 25 of 
such Code is amended by striking the item relating to section 3509.

SEC. 105. EFFECTIVE DATES.

    (a) In General.--Except as provided by subsection (b), the 
amendments made by this title--
            (1) shall take effect on January 1, 2004, and
            (2) in the case of sections 103 and 104, shall apply to 
        periods beginning after December 31, 2003.
    (b) Exception.--In the case of any State the legislature of which 
has not been in session for at least 30 calendar days (whether or not 
successive) between the date of the enactment of this Act and December 
31, 2003, the amendments made by section 101 shall take effect 30 
calendar days after the first day on which such legislature is in 
session on or after January 1, 2004.

      TITLE II--ENCOURAGING JOB MOBILITY AND ADEQUATE COMPENSATION

SEC. 201. SEPARATION FROM WORK DUE TO A MOVE RELATING TO SPOUSE'S OR 
              DOMESTIC PARTNER'S NEW PRINCIPAL PLACE OF WORK NOT A BAR 
              TO RECEIVING UNEMPLOYMENT COMPENSATION; REPLACEMENT 
              RATIOS FOR LOWER PAID WORKERS WHO BECOME UNEMPLOYED.

    (a) Revenues From Individual Income Taxes Attributable to 
Unemployment Compensation To Be Credited to Unemployment Accounts of 
Qualifying States.--
            (1) In general.--There is hereby appropriated to accounts 
        of certified States in the Unemployment Trust Fund (as 
        described in section 903 of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 
        1103)) amounts equivalent to the amount of tax liabilities 
        under chapter 1 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 which is 
        attributable to the application of section 85 of such Code to 
        payments from such accounts.
            (2) Transfers.--The amounts appropriated by paragraph (1) 
        to any such account shall be transferred from time to time (but 
        not less frequently than quarterly) from the general fund of 
        the Treasury on the basis of estimates made by the Secretary of 
        the Treasury, in consultation with the Secretary of Labor, of 
        the amounts referred to in such paragraph. Any such quarterly 
        payment shall be made on the first day of such quarter and 
        shall take into account unemployment compensation estimated to 
        be received from such account during such quarter. Proper 
        adjustments shall be made in the amounts subsequently 
        transferred to the extent prior estimates were in excess of or 
        less than the amounts required to be transferred.
            (3) Certified states.--For purposes of this subsection, the 
        term `certified State' means a State for which a certification 
        under subsection (d) is in effect.
            (4) Reports.--The Secretary of the Treasury shall submit 
        annual reports to the Congress on--
                    (A) the transfers made under this subsection during 
                the year, and the methodology used in determining the 
                amount of such transfers and the account to which made, 
                and
                    (B) the anticipated operation of this subsection 
                during the next 5 years.
    (b) Conditions for Approval of State Laws.--The Secretary of Labor 
shall (for purposes of this section) approve any State law submitted to 
the Secretary under this section, within 30 days of such submission, 
which the Secretary finds provides that--
            (1) compensation shall not be denied to any individual by 
        reason of such individual's separating from employment, if--
                    (A) that separation is related to a change in such 
                individual's spouse's place of residence in connection 
                with the commencement of work by the spouse (as an 
                employee or as a self-employed individual) at a new 
                principal place of work;
                    (B) the spouse's new principal place of work 
                satisfies the condition under subsection (c)(1) of 
                section 217 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 
                (relating to the minimum distance required, between a 
                taxpayer's former residence and new principal place of 
                work, in order to qualify for a moving expenses 
                deduction under such section); and
                    (C) the separating individual has both the former 
                residence and the new residence as his principal place 
                of abode; and
            (2) in the case of any individual who becomes entitled to 
        receive compensation from such State, and whose average weekly 
        wages (for the period on the basis of which such individual 
        qualifies for such compensation, determined without any 
        limitation on amount) do not exceed 50 percent of the average 
        weekly wages subject (determined without any limitation on 
        amount) to contributions under the unemployment compensation 
        law of such State (as determined by the Secretary based on the 
        data the Secretary considers most appropriate), compensation 
        shall be computed in a manner that results in a wage 
        replacement ratio for such individual that is at least equal to 
        the sum of--
                    (A) 50 percent, plus
                    (B) \1/4\ of 1 percent times the percentage by 

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