Rep.Dave Camp, R-Mich, Ways and Means Committee Chairman
Retired 2015


 

This was the website for Rep.Dave Camp, R-Mich, Ways and Means Committee Chairman. In 2014 he decided not to seek reelection to the United States House of Representatives.
Content is from the site's 2014 archived pages as well as from other outside news sources.

The new owners of this domain want to thank you for your service.

"Although he probably doesn't remember this, I met Dave while he was campaigning on his first run for the House. My daughter was taking photographs of some luxury dog beds for an online retailer and we were brainstorming for some promotional copy. The sign of a generous person is someone who willingly gives you his time without condition and genuinely cares what you think. He asked us how we were doing and the dog bed project just popped out of my mouth - I was embarrassed to take up his time with our petty concern, but he took one look at some of the photos and said "That's a dog bed that belongs in the living room!" Wow! A great copy idea off the cuff from a politician! We laughed and although we had no control of how the photos would be presented, we told our client this story and he included the incident in the brochure. But we've been fans of Dave Camp ever since this encounter and were sorry to see him retire. We need good people in government, and Dave is the best!" Aldo Remee

David Lee Camp served as a member of the United States House of Representatives from 1991 to 2015. Camp represented Michigan's 4th congressional district since 1993, and previously served one term representing Michigan's 10th congressional district.

 

An Open Letter To Dave Camp Prior To The Release Of His Proposal For Tax Reform

February 27, 2014 Forbes: by Anthony Nitti:

Dear House and Ways Committee Chairman David Camp:

I want to take a moment to thank you for embracing what must be the most miserable, thankless job in all of Congress, save for perhaps the guy Anthony Weiner asked to hold the camera: the relentless advocate for tax reform.

As a tax policy wonk, I recognize the overwhelming need for simplification of our current Code, and I welcome its arrival, even if it means taking food off of my table. I know I’m not alone, as throughout the most recent presidential election process, candidates from both parties could be heard demanding  an overhaul of our current system, with Newt Gingrich going as far as to proclaim that taxpayers should be able to file their tax return on a postcard.

Instead, what we got at the end of 2012 — with the convergence of the expiration of the Bush tax cuts, the enactment of two new taxes under Obamacare, and the 11th hour fiscal cliff negotiations — was a tidal wave of increased complexity. More tax brackets. Additional surtaxes. Resurrected phase-outs of personal exemptions and itemized deductions. We have reached the point – if we weren’t there already – where the overwhelming majority of taxpayers have no chance of correctly computing their tax liability should they be silly enough to undertake the process on their own. What’s even more frightening however, is on my recent tour of CPA firms to teach areas of the new law, I’ve realized just how dependent most tax advisors have been forced to become on their software to manage the morass of exclusions, deductions, and alternative tax computations that plague the current system.  And that ain’t good.

But if everyone seems to recognize that the system is broken, why is it so hard to get it fixed? The answer, as you’ve undoubtedly discovered, is that changes to the tax system engender the ultimate in “not in my backyard” reactions. Everyone wants simplification, until it hits them where it hurts: either in the wallet, or perhaps more importantly, in the bid for reelection.

You, along with Democratic Senator Max Baucus, have made tax reform your top priority for the better part of the past year. Together, you promised to unveil your respective plans for reform prior to the end of 2013, with the hopes of quickly reaching bipartisan agreement and moving towards a solution that benefits the nation at large.

But here we are in late February, and while Senator Baucus released his plan in November, it is only today that we will get our first glimpse at your proposal. This is no fault of your own, of course, because by all accounts, you were ready to go as promised in December. But your own party pressured you to hold back, even if it meant failing to meet your self-imposed deadline. Why?

Because they didn’t want your tax plan taking attention away from the very public disaster that was the Obamacare rollout. With the mid-term elections just around the corner, the longer the Republican Party could keep Obamacare in the headlines, the better it served the entire party.

And while I appreciate the political maneuvering, I find it rather negligent to hold taxpayers hostage just so the Republicans can revel in a bit of schadenfreude.

You let your party have their moment, but ultimately undeterred, last week you announced plans to move forward and release your proposal. This announcement was again met with disapproving responses within your own party, despite the fact that the Obamacare failures have largely become white noise at this point. Why?

Because when we seek tax reform, we are always chasing the two tenants of what is widely considered the ideal system: lower tax rates and a broader base. A broader base, of course, means that if we are going to tax income at a lower rate, we need to tax more income to ensure that there is no loss of revenue to the government coffers. And in order to do that, a host of the deductions and preferences that litter the statute have to be eliminated or greatly reduced.

As a result, in any proposal for tax reform, some of the statute’s sacred cows would inevitably find themselves on the chopping block. The mortgage interest deduction. Charitable contributions. State and local taxes. And this is where the “not in my backyard” mentality rises to the forefront – while your plan promises to be revenue neutral from an overall revenue perspective, it will naturally threaten tax breaks that have been afforded to specific industries. And these people will be pissed.

Right on cue, before your final plan has even been released, special interest groups from all corners of the country shouted their opposition to the rumored provisions contained within your proposal. “Leave carried interest alone!” cried the private equity firms. “A tax on our assets is unfair!” bellowed the banks.  “You can’t cut the mortgage interest deduction,” railed the realtors.

These groups are very powerful, and their complaints certainly reach the floor of Congress. And with 435 seats in the House and 33 spots in the Senate up for grabs in November, you can be damn sure that Congress is listening.

Which is precisely why your own party pressured you to leave tax reform alone for the time being; the last thing Republican Candidate X needs right now is for you to release a plan that leaves Influential Voter Y questioning the party’s allegiance to keeping HIS SPECIFIC tax bill down. And so to protect their own seat at the table, party members would prefer to hold up much-needed tax reform until they’ve safely achieved re-election. Of course, by then the calendar will have turned to 2015, and with the next presidential election one year away – and one with no incumbent candidate – the willingness to upset the status quo will be nonexistent.

This is why, in all likelihood, we’ll be hearing the same cries for tax reform from podiums all across the nation in the fall of 2016. Because it’s all empty rhetoric spouted by people far more interested in their own career path than the good of the people they purport to represent.

 

 

Announcement by Chairman Dave Camp

March 31, 2014

Today, Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp issued the following statement:

“Today, I am announcing that I will not seek re-election to the United States House of Representatives.  This decision was reached after much consideration and discussion with my family.

“Serving in Congress is the great honor of my professional life.  I am deeply grateful to the people of the 4th Congressional District for placing their trust in me.  Over the years, their unwavering support has been a source of strength, purpose and inspiration.

“During the next nine months, I will redouble my efforts to grow our economy and expand opportunity for every American by fixing our broken tax code, permanently solving physician payments for seniors, strengthening the social safety net and finding new markets for U.S. goods and services.”

 

 

Dave Camp to retire after his current term

By Ed O'Keefe and Paul Kane March 31, 2014 | www.washingtonpost.com

Rep. Dave Camp (R-Mich.), chairman of the powerful tax-writing House Ways and Means Committee, plans to retire after his current term, he announced Monday.


Rep. Dave Camp (R-Mich.). (Katherine Frey/The Washington Post)

Camp said in a statement that his decision "was reached after much consideration and discussion with my family. Serving in Congress is the great honor of my professional life. I am deeply grateful to the people of the 4th Congressional District for placing their trust in me. Over the years, their unwavering support has been a source of strength, purpose and inspiration. During the next nine months, I will redouble my efforts to grow our economy and expand opportunity for every American by fixing our broken tax code, permanently solving physician payments for seniors, strengthening the social safety net and finding new markets for U.S. goods and services."

Camp’s retirement was expected by many inside the Capitol. The 60-year-old has served in Congress since 1991 and assumed control of the committee when Republicans retook control of the House in 2011. But his six-year term as top Republican on the panel is scheduled to conclude at the end of the year. He battled cancer last year and considered running for Michigan's open U.S. Senate seat, but opted instead to put all his political and legislative muscle into the fight to overhaul the tax code.

His partner in that effort was supposed to be the chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, Max Baucus, the Montana Democrat who announced his own retirement plans last year. At that time, Baucus said he would expend his last political breaths trying to fight for the complicated tax overhaul, but by December it was clear to all sides that this divided Congress lacked the willpower to take on such a behemoth task that required serious examination of many financial sacred cows – whether to trim the mortgage interest deduction, how to tax the earnings of private equity firms and hedge funds, what the the top income tax rate should be.

Baucus then accepted President Obama’s appointment to be ambassador to China, retiring from the Senate in February and leaving tax reform stalled. Camp released his own plan in March, to much fanfare because it tackled several serious issues, but it was immediately dismissed by House GOP leaders and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) as something that would not happen this year.

The battle to succeed Camp at Ways and Means is a two-way race between Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), the clear front-runner, and Rep. Kevin Brady (R-Tex.), who is more senior on the panel than Ryan.

Ryan is scheduled to release his budget blueprint Tuesday, and the former 2012 vice presidential nominee has stated publicly that he wants to take over the gavel from Camp, although there is still a chance that Ryan might run for president in 2016.

As Ways and Means chairman, Camp is among the most powerful men in Washington, with jurisdiction over taxes, Medicare, Social Security — and the budget debate. He's been universally described as "nice" and collegial and an antithesis of the brash, iron-fisted chairmen of the past. If Ryan has earned credit for shaping the GOP’s big-picture vision, Camp has been cast as the guy in the trenches thrashing out policy — or deciding when to back away. When Ryan’s controversial plan to privatize Medicare was under siege in 2012, Camp helped quiet the uproar by announcing that his committee would not advance the Medicare plan, which had zero chance of passing anyway.

Camp is the 26th member of the House and the fourth member of the Michigan congressional delegation to announce plans to step down.

 

 

Dave Camp: My Focus Is Tax Reform, Not the Senate

By Robert Schlesinger, Managing Editor for Opinion April 11, 2013, / www.usnews.com

DON'T WAIT ON HOUSE Ways and Means Chairman Dave Camp to jump into the race for the open Senate seat occupied by Michigan Sen. Carl Levin – he's too busy trying to overhaul the tax code, he said this morning.

Speaking at a press breakfast sponsored by the Christian Science Monitor, Camp said that "I'm not taking a serious look at the race" because "I'm pretty busy." He added: "I've got a big job. I'm committed to tax reform and I'm going to work very hard to make it reality."
He noted that GOP Rep. Mike Rogers and former Michigan secretary of state Terri Lynd are looking at the run. Another Michigan House member, Justin Amash, is also reportedly eyeing the race.

Camp spoke extensively about his hopes for tax reform (he wants it to be revenue neutral and says it has to include provisions for repatriation of money from overseas).
On the question of Obama's budget, he declined to follow National Republican Congressional Committee Chairman Greg Walden in attacking President Obama as a menace to seniors and their Social Security. Instead he followed the current GOP playbook of praising Obama for taking "a few steps forward in terms of entitlement reform," calling it a "positive step," and saying that while a "grand bargain" probably isn't possible this year – because attempts at grand bargains "haven't worked very well" – a smaller "downpayment" on dealing with entitlements would be just fine. Like, for example, doing "chained CPI" for Social Security since the president and Republicans now all agree on it.

This again illustrates the problem of Obama adopting chained CPI as administration policy rather than keeping it as a bargaining option. He and his spokespeople can say all they want that it must be part of a package with new tax revenues, but he has given the GOP a very easy opening to try to break it off rhetorically by itself.

And as for Walden's comments – he said Wednesday that Obama was "trying to balance this budget on the backs of seniors" – give Camp and the rest of the GOP leaders a few months. It's still an odd numbered year. Once election time comes around, more Republicans will be singing Walden's tune. If you doubt it, remember that Republicans campaign against Obamacare's Medicare cuts in even numbered years and then incorporate them into their budgets in odd numbered years.

 

 

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FEATURED ISSUES

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Jobs For Michigan

Achieving sustained economic growth and creating jobs in Michigan is my top priority. The harsh reality is that the American economy continues to suffer and our unemployment rate is at an unacceptable level. Michigan employers and families continue to struggle with a declining job market.

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Health Care

I believe we can provide access to quality health care for every American by improving our current system to expand health care coverage and reduce costs. This can be done without having a government takeover of our health care system. But our voices have not been heard because the Obama Administration and the Democrat Leadership has shut Republicans out of the drafting process of the current proposed health care legislation.

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Deficit Reduction

Despite already record deficits, the Obama Administration and the Democrats in Congress continue to spend the money of the American people at a record pace: in 2009, one year, they spent more than all past Presidents combined. It is unfortunate that the federal government has again chosen to ignore the voices of the American people.

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Defense

A strong national defense is central to the security and protection of the American people. I am committed to ensuring that our military remains the most effective and capable military in the world. Recent attempted terrorist attacks within the borders of our country make it very clear that terrorists are still determined to destroy our society. We must maintain a strong national defense.

First and foremost in maintaining a strong national defense are our troops.

• I will continue to fight for the brave men and women who represent the best our country has to offer.

• Our troops must be provided with the resources, medical care and benefits necessary to protect the American people.

• When our soldiers return from overseas duty they must be afforded all of the health care and help that they need to return to a productive life. We owe them nothing less.

I have been proud to support the following legislation on behalf of our military:

• generous annual increases in military pay

• fully funding the TRICARE health system

• expanding military educational benefits, such as the Post 9-11 Veterans Educational Assistance Act.

I will continue to work to make sure that our military has the most effective and technologically-advanced weapons systems and hardware. On this front, I opposed the Administration’s decision to cancel the European missile defense program. With rogue nations like Iran and North Korea continuing to develop ballistic missile arsenals and enriching uranium, it is more important than ever that we send a clear message that we will defend our shores and fulfill commitments we have made to allies.

We must continue to push for strong sanctions against countries such as Iran, and for that reason I co-sponsored and voted for the Iran Sanctions Enabling Act of 2009. This act gives state and local governments authority to divest their assets from companies investing in Iranian companies.

The security and safety of the American people must continue to be the number one priority of the federal government. For that reason I oppose the decision to close Guantanamo Bay and will continue to work to keep terrorists out of our country and away from American families, children and communities. Putting these terrorists in American communities and giving them all the rights of a U.S. citizen, including full access to our legal system, is a grave mistake.

The war against terrorism must continue, and be fully funded. It is important that we provide General McChrystal and all of our men and women in uniform with the resources they need to succeed. Abandoning our efforts there would jeopardize the safety and security of the United States. General McChrystal has designed a strategy that will permit our troops to come home and leave Afghanistan ready to defend and secure its own people against the Taliban. We must support these efforts and I will continue to work for our men and women in uniform to get them whatever support and resources they need.

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Adoption

I strongly believe in providing loving and safe homes for children through adoption.

Unfortunately, far too many children - nearly 130,000 - are waiting in foster care programs throughout the United States for families to adopt them.

We must work even harder to increase the adoption of these children into safe, permanent, loving homes. We have the ability and the opportunity to help encourage adoption and help those in the foster care system.

I introduced what has now become landmark adoption legislation, the Adoption and Safe Families Act. This legislation put the health and safety of children first, and gave our nation’s foster children a fighting chance. It streamlines the adoption process to quickly help move more children in foster care into permanent adoptive homes. The statute also offers incentives to states to increase the number of adoption efforts when a child’s safety is in danger. I am pleased that this legislation also spurred National Adoption Day and National Adoption Month (November), while encouraging adoption throughout the year.

Since the Adoption and Safe Families Act became law, adoptions have steadily increased each year. My legislation, along with other bills passed over the last few years, has led to dramatic improvements for children in the foster care system. But we have much work left to do. Far too many children in America remain in the foster care system instead of in a loving home. We must remain committed to the fight to help these children also.

As an avid adoption supporter, we must continue to promote the adoption of children into safe and loving homes. The Adoption and Safe Families Act, and more recently the Fostering Connections to Success and Increasing Adoptions Act of 2008 have made possible significant advances in providing more options for children in need, and provided greater assistance to those who remain in the foster system.

 



PRESS RELEASE / ARTICLES

 

Dave Camp: How to Fix Our Appalling Tax Code

February 27, 2014

Every year Americans spend more than six billion hours and $168 billion to file their returns.

There have been so many changes to the tax code over the past decade that it is now 10 times the size of the Bible, but with none of the Good News. That factual statement usually gets a good laugh back home in Michigan. What isn't funny is the effect that constant tinkering with taxes has had on the people who pay them, and on the economy.

According to Nina Olsen, the National Taxpayer Advocate at the IRS, Americans overall spend over six billion hours and $168 billion every year to file their returns. This is stark testimony to the complexity of the tax code. Meanwhile, owners of small businesses face tax rates as high as 44.6%, while the total (state and federal) U.S. corporate rate, 39.1%, is the highest in the industrialized world.

The last time the U.S. enacted a comprehensive tax reform was 1986. But many of America's major competitors have been actively reforming their tax laws in recent years. Even our closest neighbors are getting ahead of us. Canada has already reformed its tax laws and Mexico is doing so right now. If Congress doesn't take action, the U.S. risks falling further behind.

The tax code should make it easier for American companies to bring back profits earned overseas so they can be invested here. It should not hinder small businesses from growing into large businesses. And the individual income tax needs to be simpler, fairer and flatter for everyone.

On Wednesday, I am releasing what a simpler, fairer tax code actually looks like. The guiding principle is that everyone should play by the same rules—your tax rate should be determined by what's fair, not by who you know in Washington. Here is what it would look like:

First, the tax code will be made simpler—so every family can do its own taxes confidently, without fearing an audit, or wondering if someone else who can afford an expensive accountant is getting a better deal.

Today there are 15 different tax breaks for education—nine for current expenses, two for past expenses and four for future expenses. The IRS instructions explaining it all come to almost 90 pages. That isn't a tax code designed for working families; it is a tax code designed to make money for accountants.

Last year, my Democratic counterpart on the Ways and Means Committee, Sandy Levin of Michigan, and I created 11 bipartisan working groups to tackle different parts of the tax code. One of those, headed by Diane Black (R., Tenn.) and Danny Davis (D., Ill.), looked into those education provisions. After months of work, the leaders of the working group recently came forward with a plan that consolidates four of these provisions into one improved credit, making it easier for families and students to afford a college education.

Paired with more commonsense reforms like increasing the standard deduction and the child tax credit will mean that nearly 95% of the country can get the lowest possible tax rate by just filing the basic IRS 1040A form—no more itemizing, no more keeping track of all those receipts, and no more filling out all those extra schedules, forms and work sheets.

Second, the tax code will be made more effective and efficient by getting rid of special-interest handouts, which will mean lower tax rates for individuals, families and all businesses. Under this plan, over 99% of tax filers will face a top tax rate of 25%—allowing small and large businesses alike to expand operations, hire new workers and increase benefits and take home pay. On the individual side, there will be an introductory bracket of 10%.

Nonpartisan, independent economists at the congressional Joint Committee on Taxation have already analyzed this plan. According to those estimates, after this streamlining of the tax code, the size of the economy will increase by $3.4 trillion over the next decade, or roughly 20% compared with today. This will lead to nearly two million new jobs—and producing up to $700 billion in additional federal revenues that can be used to lower taxes even further or reduce the debt.

What does this mean for you and your family? Because we will have a healthier economy, wages will rise. With more income but lower tax rates, families with a median income ($51,000 for a family of four) will have on average an extra $1,300 in their pocket at the end of the year.

Third, make the tax code fairer and more accountable. That means no more hidden provisions that benefit a favored few, and no more tax increases to fuel more spending.

We can clean up provisions like "carried interest" that allow certain private-equity firms to get the investment-income tax rate on what anyone else would call normal wage income. We'll also put an end to special depreciation benefits related to corporate jets and close, once and for all, the infamous "John Edwards" loophole that allows a select few to avoid employment taxes on their income. The revenue gained from that provision, and many others like shifting to Roth-style retirement accounts for those contributing more than $8,750 (only 5% of the workforce) can be used to lower tax rates across the board.

The tax code changes in my plan are not intended as a means of raising revenue. If loopholes are closed, Americans should get the benefit by way of lower rates.

Tax reform needs to be about strengthening the economy and making the code simpler and fairer. That's what Republican President Ronald Reagan did when he worked with Democrats in Congress in 1986. We need to get to work and repeat that success.

 

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Camp Opening Statement: Hearing on the Status of the Affordable Care Act Implementation

October 29, 2013

Good Morning.  I would like to welcome Marilyn Tavenner to the Committee today.  I look forward to your testimony and to hearing an honest, straightforward assessment on the status of the health care law.  

Six months ago, Health and Human Services Secretary Sebelius told this Committee a dozen times that the Administration “will be ready October 1.”   We now know the Administration was not ready and, just last week, Secretary Sebelius suggested they “could have used 5 years” to get the Exchanges up and running.  

Despite having three years to get the system up and running, officials at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, who are charged with implementing the Exchanges, added, “due to a compressed time frame, the system wasn’t tested enough.”   

Frankly, three years should have been enough.  And, had the Administration provided more forthcoming answers and shared, in a transparent manner, the reality of the challenges it was encountering in the implementation process, I suspect many of these glitches could have been avoided.  

While a website can eventually be fixed, the widespread problems with ObamaCare cannot.  Almost daily, we hear of reports of ObamaCare increasing costs, harming job creation and forcing Americans off their current plan.  These problems cannot be fixed through a “tech surge,” and they are not just a glitch in someone’s health care coverage or job.  

Not a week goes by that I don’t hear examples from the people I represent in Michigan and job creators about the increasing costs and how ObamaCare is making it harder for businesses to invest, grow and hire.  Just last month, Meridian Public Schools announced that it would be cutting the schedules of hourly workers to fewer than 30 hours per week as a result of ObamaCare.  And this month, the Detroit Free Press reported that at least 146,000 Michiganders have received cancellation notices for their current health care plan due to ObamaCare. 

In fact, based on what little information the Administration has disclosed, it turns out that more people have received cancellation notices for their health care plans this month than have enrolled in the Exchanges.

The widespread acknowledgement that the health care Exchanges were not tested months in advance, as promised, is cause for concern.   But the concerns don’t stop there.  The Treasury Inspector General warned in August that it was not confident about the IRS’s ability to protect confidential taxpayer information or to prevent fraud, and neither am I.  On top of that, the Exchange does not give individuals the information they need to make an informed health care decision.  

When going through the options, how are Americans able to see:

  • If they are even eligible to be in the Exchanges?   
  • If their current doctor is in a plan?
  • What the real cost of their premiums will be?
  • How much their copay will be?

No amount of website fixes can make right the President’s broken promises that health care costs will be lowered by $2,500 or that Americans will be able to keep the plan they have and like.  

Those are worthy goals – reducing costs and maintaining coverage – and ones we should all work together to accomplish.  I’d be remiss if I didn’t remind my colleagues that the alternative put forward by Republicans at the time was the only plan scored by the Congressional Budget Office as actually reducing premiums.

Democrats chose to go down another path, and this is where it has led us.  Instead of plowing forward with this unworkable law, the Administration should, at a minimum, seriously consider delaying the law for families and individuals, just as it has done for big business.  If they fail to do so, I fear we could see a fundamental breakdown of the insurance market where premiums will skyrocket – pricing millions of Americans out of health care, yet still forced to pay the individual mandate tax.  

Administrator Tavenner, we cannot solve a problem until we realize the full extent of that problem.  Your answers today, and in the future, will be critical to this Committee’s oversight of the health care law, and, more importantly, to our work to make sure Americans have access to affordable health care.

 

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Camp, Levin Joined by Ways and Means Committee Colleagues to Introduce Bill to Extend and Improve the Adoption Incentives Program

September 27, 2013

Washington, DC – Today, Congressman Dave Camp (R-Midland) and Congressman Sandy Levin (D-Royal Oak), joined Ways and Means Committee colleagues to introduce the Promoting Adoption and Legal Guardianship for Children in Foster Care Act.  

The Promoting Adoption and Legal Guardianship for Children in Foster Care Act

  • reauthorizes the program for three years (i.e. through FY 2016);
  • revises awards over that three-year period to focus on increasing adoption rates instead of the raw number of adoptions (ensuring States receive awards even as foster care caseloads continue to decline);
  • focuses more resources on increasing adoptions of older children;
  • creates a new award category for increases in the rate of children leaving foster care for legal guardianship; and
  • allows States to spend incentive funds over three years instead of two.

Speaking about the introduction of the bill, Congressman Camp said: “Children in foster care deserve a place to call home, not just for a few months or years but for good. Having focused on adoption since arriving in Congress—and having helped create the Adoption Incentives program—I know by providing states with incentives for adoptions we can encourage them to do more to help these children. We have already seen great progress in increasing adoptions since this program was created in 1997, and it is our hope to continue this progress with this bill. I encourage my colleagues to join me in supporting this bill in the House, and I hope the Senate will also act soon so we can continue to move even more foster children into permanent homes.”

Congressman Levin said: “Every child deserves a permanent home that provides a safe, enriching and loving environment, and this legislation rewards State foster care programs that make progress toward that important goal. I look forward to action on this bipartisan effort to promote adoption and guardianship for the over 100,000 children now in foster care who are awaiting a permanent family.”  

This legislation would require States to improve their reporting of State savings in the wake of changes made in 2008 that increased Federal funding of adoption assistance, and it ensures a portion of these savings is invested in services to support families after adoptions have been finalized. The bill also clarifies the treatment of successor guardians under the new Guardianship Assistance Program, guaranteeing children can continue to be cared for by another legal guardian if a relative guardian passes away or is incapacitated.

This bill would also extend for three years the Family Connection Grants program that is focused on helping children in foster care reconnect with family members. To offset the cost of this extension, the bill requires States to offset Federal income tax refunds to recover Unemployment Insurance overpayments that are the fault of the claimant. The combination of these provisions means that the legislation is expected to reduce the deficit over 10 years by $24 million.   

On August 7, the Ways and Means Committee released draft legislation to extend and improve the Adoption Incentives program based on testimony received at a Human Resources Subcommittee hearing earlier this year. Public comments on that draft legislation informed several changes made to the bipartisan legislation introduced today.

 

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DaveCampForCongress.com