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Wyden And Thune Get Tribal Child Support Bill Passed Out Of Senate

Charlein Gracia

Tribes that run child support agencies may soon get help collecting past-due child support.  KLCC has the latest on a bill sponsored by Oregon Democratic Senator Ron Wyden and South Dakota Republican John Thune.

The U.S. Senate has just passed the bill, which lets the 60 Native American tribes with child support agencies access the Federal Tax Refund Offset Program to collect past-due money.

Credit USDA/U.S. Forest Service / Flickr.com/https://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/mark/1.0/
U.S. Senators John Thune (left. R-SD) and Ron Wyden (right D-OR), co-sponsors of the bill.

Senator Wyden says this is what state agencies already do.

“The legislation empowers tribal agencies with the same tools as states have to ensure non-custodial parents are meeting their child support obligations. This is about fairness for our tribes.” 

Through the program, the U.S. Treasury Department can withhold a tax refund of a non-custodial parent if they owe past-due child support, and send it to the child support agency to disperse to the family.

In Oregon, the Klamath Tribes and the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation have their own child support agencies. 

Copyright 2021, KLCC. 

Brian Bull joined the KLCC News Team in June 2016. In his 25+ years as a public media journalist, he's worked at NPR, Twin Cities Public Television, South Dakota Public Broadcasting, Wisconsin Public Radio, and ideastream in Cleveland. His reporting has netted dozens of accolades, including four national Edward R. Murrow Awards (22 regional), the Ohio Associated Press' Best Reporter Award, Best Radio Reporter from the Native American Journalists Association, and the PRNDI/NEFE Award for Excellence in Consumer Finance Reporting.
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