If HR 4, the Personal Responsibility Act, passes the Senate and is
signed into law:
- The block grant to states would begin on October 1, and continue for only five years; there is no
provision for re-authorization after fiscal year 2000.
- Definition of eligibility for assistance would be left to the states, without any federal protection of an
individual's entitlement to benefits.
- Federal funding for the block grant would be frozen at 1994 levels for 5 years.
- States would be free to reduce or withdraw state funding for cash assistance for needy families and
- States would be required to adopt time limits for cash assistance, making families ineligible for cash
benefits for life if they have received aid for a total of 60 months.
- A state would not be permitted to provide cash assistance for the needs of a child or mother if the
mother is unmarried and under 18.
- A state could not provide cash assistance for the needs of a child born or conceived while the parent
was receiving aid.
- A mother or child would not receive full cash assistance until paternity is established, even if the
mother is fully cooperating with authorities.
- Aid would be completely denied for non-cooperation with child support enforcement authorities, even
if the woman has good reason to fear abuse or worse if the father is forced into the picture.
- Legal residents who are not citizens would be ineligible for aid unless they are over 75 years old or
- States would not have any obligation to assure that suitable child care is provided while recipient
parents are engaged in work activities, even if the parent is forced to work as a requirement of receiving aid.
- Rewards would be provided to states that show decreased "illegitimacy ratios" (defined as the number
of out-of-wedlock births in the state plus any increase in the total number of abortions during that year).
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