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S. 604 (rfh) To direct the Secretary of Agriculture to complete a land exchange with Georgia Power Company. [Referred in House] ...

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  1st Session
                                 S. 604

   To amend part D of title IV of the Social Security Act to provide 
   grants to promote responsible fatherhood, and for other purposes.



                             March 12, 2003

 Mr. Bayh (for himself, Mr. Domenici, and Mr. Santorum) introduced the 
 following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on 


                                 A BILL

   To amend part D of title IV of the Social Security Act to provide 
   grants to promote responsible fatherhood, and for other purposes.

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


    This Act may be cited as the ``Responsible Fatherhood Act of 


    Congress makes the following findings:
            (1) Nearly 24,000,000 children in the United States, or 34 
        percent of all such children, live apart from their biological 
            (2) Sixty percent of couples who divorce have at least 1 
            (3) The number of children living with only a mother 
        increased from just over 5,000,000 in 1960, to 17,000,000 in 
        1999, and between 1981 and 1991 the percentage of children 
        living with only 1 parent increased from 19 percent to 25 
            (4) Forty percent of children who live in households 
        without a father have not seen their father in at least 1 year 
        and 50 percent of such children have never visited their 
        father's home.
            (5) The most important factor in a child's upbringing is 
        whether the child is brought up in a loving, healthy, 
        supportive environment.
            (6) Children who live without contact with their biological 
        father are, in comparison to children who have such contact--
                    (A) 5 times more likely to live in poverty;
                    (B) more likely to bring weapons and drugs into the 
                    (C) twice as likely to commit crime;
                    (D) twice as likely to drop out of school;
                    (E) more likely to commit suicide;
                    (F) more than twice as likely to abuse alcohol or 
                drugs; and
                    (G) more likely to become pregnant as teenagers.
            (7) Violent criminals are overwhelmingly males who grew up 
        without fathers.
            (8) Between 20 and 30 percent of families in poverty are 
        headed by women who have suffered domestic violence during the 
        past year and between 40 and 60 percent of women with children 
        receiving welfare were abused sometime during their life.
            (9) Responsible fatherhood includes active participation in 
        financial support and child care, as well as the formation and 
        maintenance of a positive, healthy, and nonviolent relationship 
        between father and child and a cooperative relationship between 
            (10) States should be encouraged to implement programs that 
        provide support for responsible fatherhood, promote marriage, 
        and increase the incidence of marriage, and should not be 
        restricted from implementing such programs.
            (11) Fatherhood programs should promote and provide support 
        services for--
                    (A) loving and healthy relationships between 
                parents and children; and
                    (B) cooperative parenting.
            (12) There is a social need to reconnect children and 
            (13) The promotion of responsible fatherhood and 
        encouragement of married 2-parent families should not--
                    (A) denigrate the standing or parenting efforts of 
                single mothers or other caregivers;
                    (B) lessen the protection of children from abusive 
                parents; or
                    (C) compromise the safety or health of the 
                custodial parent;
        but should increase the chance that children will have two 
        caring parents to help them grow up healthy and secure.
            (14) The promotion of responsible fatherhood must always 
        recognize and promote the values of nonviolence.
            (15) For the future of the United States and the future of 
        our children, Congress, States, and local communities should 
        assist parents to become more actively involved in their 
        children's lives.
            (16) Child support is an important means by which a parent 
        can take financial responsibility for a child and emotional 
        support is an important means by which a parent can take social 
        responsibility for a child.


    Part D of title IV of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 651 et 
seq.) is amended by adding at the end the following:


    ``(a) Grants to States To Conduct Demonstration Programs.--
            ``(1) Authority to award grants.--
                    ``(A) In general.--The Secretary shall award grants 
                to up to 10 eligible States to conduct demonstration 
                programs to carry out the purposes described in 
                paragraph (2).
                    ``(B) Eligible state.--For purposes of this 
                subsection, an eligible State is a State that submits 
                to the Secretary the following:
                            ``(i) Application.--An application for a 
                        grant under this subsection, at such time, in 
                        such manner, and containing such information as 
                        the Secretary may require.
                            ``(ii) State plan.--A State plan that 
                        includes the following:
                                    ``(I) Project description.--A 
                                description of the types of projects 
                                the State will fund under the grant, 
                                including a good faith estimate of the 
                                number and characteristics of clients 
                                to be served under such projects and 
                                how the State intends to achieve at 
                                least 2 of the purposes described in 
                                paragraph (2).
                                    ``(II) Coordination efforts.--A 
                                description of how the State will 
                                coordinate and cooperate with State and 
                                local entities responsible for carrying 
                                out other programs that relate to the 
                                purposes intended to be achieved under 
                                the demonstration program, including as 
                                appropriate, entities responsible for 
                                carrying out jobs programs and programs 
                                serving children and families.
                                    ``(III) Records, reports, and 
                                audits.--An agreement to maintain such 
                                records, submit such reports, and 
                                cooperate with such reviews and audits 
                                as the Secretary finds necessary for 
                                purposes of oversight of the 
                                demonstration program.
                            ``(iii) Certifications.--The following 
                        certifications from the chief executive officer 
                        of the State:
                                    ``(I) A certification that the 
                                State will use funds provided under the 
                                grant to promote at least 2 of the 
                                purposes described in paragraph (2).
                                    ``(II) A certification that the 
                                State will return any unused funds to 
                                the Secretary in accordance with the 
                                reconciliation process under paragraph 
                                    ``(III) A certification that the 
                                funds provided under the grant will be 
                                used for programs and activities that 
                                target low-income participants and that 
                                not less than 50 percent of the 
                                participants in each program or 
                                activity funded under the grant shall 
                                            ``(aa) parents of a child 
                                        who is, or within the past 24 
                                        months has been, a recipient of 
                                        assistance or services under a 
                                        State program funded under this 
                                        part and is described in 
                                        section 454(4)(A)(i); or
                                            ``(bb) parents, including 
                                        an expectant parent or a 
                                        married parent, whose income 
                                        (after adjustment for court-
                                        ordered child support paid or 
                                        received) does not exceed 150 
                                        percent of the poverty line.
                                    ``(IV) A certification that 
                                programs or activities funded under the 
                                grant will be provided with information 
                                regarding the prevention of domestic 
                                violence and that the State will 
                                consult with representatives of State 
                                and local domestic violence centers.
                                    ``(V) A certification that funds 
                                provided to a State under this 
                                subsection shall not be used to 
                                supplement or supplant other Federal, 
                                State, or local funds that are used to 
                                support programs or activities that are 
                                related to the purposes described in 
                                paragraph (2).
                    ``(C) Preferences and factors of consideration.--In 
                awarding grants under this subsection, the Secretary 
                shall take into consideration the following:
                            ``(i) Diversity of entities used to conduct 
                        programs and activities.--The Secretary shall, 
                        to the extent practicable, achieve a balance 
                        among the eligible States awarded grants under 
                        this subsection with respect to the size, urban 
                        or rural location, and employment of differing 
                        or unique methods of the entities that the 
                        States intend to use to conduct the programs 
                        and activities funded under the grants.
                            ``(ii) Priority for certain states.--The 
                        Secretary shall give priority to awarding 
                        grants to eligible States that have--
                                    ``(I) demonstrated progress in 
                                achieving at least 1 of the purposes 
                                described in paragraph (2) through 
                                previous State initiatives; or
                                    ``(II) demonstrated need with 
                                respect to reducing the incidence of 
                                out-of-wedlock births or absent fathers 
                                in the State.
            ``(2) Purposes.--The purposes described in this paragraph 
        are the following:
                    ``(A) Promoting responsible fatherhood through 
                marriage promotion.--To promote marriage or sustain 
                marriage through such activities as counseling, 
                mentoring, disseminating information about the benefits 
                of marriage and 2-parent involvement for children, 
                enhancing relationship skills, education regarding how 
                to control aggressive behavior, disseminating 
                information on the causes of domestic violence and 
                child abuse, marriage preparation programs, premarital 
                counseling, marital inventories, skills-based marriage 
                education, financial planning seminars, including 
                improving a family's ability to effectively manage 
                family business affairs by means such as education, 
                counseling, or mentoring on matters related to family 
                finances, including household management, budgeting, 
                banking, and handling of financial transactions and 
                home maintenance, and divorce education and reduction 
                programs, including mediation and counseling.
                    ``(B) Promoting responsible fatherhood through 
                parenting promotion.--To promote responsible parenting 
                through such activities as counseling, mentoring, and 
                mediation, disseminating information about good 
                parenting practices, skills-based parenting education, 
                encouraging child support payments, and other methods.
                    ``(C) Promoting responsible fatherhood through 
                fostering economic stability of fathers.--To foster 
                economic stability by helping fathers improve their 
                economic status by providing such activities as work 
                first services, job search, job training, subsidized 
                employment, job retention, job enhancement, and 
                encouraging education, including career-advancing 
                education, dissemination of employment materials, 
                coordination with existing employment services such as 
                welfare-to-work programs, referrals to local employment 
                training initiatives, and other methods.
            ``(3) Restriction on use of funds.--No funds provided under 
        this subsection may be used for costs attributable to court 
proceedings regarding matters of child visitation or custody, or for 
legislative advocacy.
            ``(4) Reconciliation process.--
                    ``(A) 3-year availability of amounts allotted.--
                Each eligible State that receives a grant under this 
                subsection for a fiscal year shall return to the 
                Secretary any unused portion of the grant for such 
                fiscal year not later than the last day of the second 
                succeeding fiscal year, together with any earnings on 
                such unused portion.
                    ``(B) Procedure for redistribution.--The Secretary 
                shall establish an appropriate procedure for 
                redistributing to eligible entities that have expended 
                the entire amount of a grant made under this subsection 
                for a fiscal year any amount that is returned to the 
                Secretary by eligible States under subparagraph (A).
            ``(5) Amount of grants.--
                    ``(A) In general.--Subject to subparagraph (B), the 
                amount of each grant awarded under this subsection 
                shall be an amount sufficient to implement the State 
                plan submitted under paragraph (1)(B)(ii).
                    ``(B) Minimum amounts.--No eligible State shall--
                            ``(i) in the case of the District of 
                        Columbia or a State other than the Commonwealth 

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