Idaho House panel risks $246 million in funding to needy families because of Sharia law worries

UPDATE: 11:44 a.m. MST. My orginal blog headline stated $46 million, because I was using the fact that "roughly $16.1 million will immediately stop once Idaho is out of compliance. An additional $30 million is also in jeopardy because compliance is also tied to the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families."

But upon further research:

Rep. John Rusche, D-Lewiston, said, “This is a bill of immense, immense consequences to the state of Idaho, to the state but mostly to the children of the state of Idaho, those that depend on child support payments for keeping body and soul together.” His voice cracking with fatigue, Rusche told the House, “This bill is required so that we can participate in the federal child support system. Without that participation, it will be very difficult, maybe impossible, to collect the over $200 million in child support payments that our Health & Welfare Department collects and dispenses.

Idaho made ABC News again!

"Republicans have been accused of abandoning the poor. It's the other way around. They never vote for us." - Dan Quayle

Stranger than fiction.

But alas, this is Idaho ...

An Idaho House panel voted 9-8 on Friday to kill legislation to bring the state into compliance with federal child-support collection rules after some lawmakers said they were concerned about Sharia law influencing Idaho's enforcement authority.

SOURCE: Associated Press.

And yet another victory for Idaho's single moms ... (end sarcasm)

Idaho child support program director Kandace Yearsley said the committee's decision has placed Idaho at risk of losing nearly $46 million in federal child-support funding as well as access to the federal enforcement tools used to collect child-support payments from parents living in other states.

And of course ...

But some members of the House committee said they were concerned the bill was tied to an international convention regarding cross-border recovery of child-support payments. Rep. Heather Scott and Sen. Sheryl Nuxoll, both Republicans, said they feared the bill could force Idaho to enforce child-support rulings made under Islamic law or foreign tribunals.

However ...

Deputy Attorney General Scott Keim countered during Friday's meeting that none of the countries involved in the Hague Convention on International Recovery of Child Support and Other Forms of Family Maintenance —which Idaho entered into in 2007— are under Sharia law.

"I don't know of any other state going through this," said Yearsley, visibly shocked minutes after the committee voted. "There's no prior case. We are the first." Yearsley added that the committee's actions not only risk Idaho losing access to state enforcement tools but also risks the United States from being disqualified from the convention. This is because the convention requires that all states agree to be in compliance in order to participate, she said.

And as usual, those Republicans are really looking out for needy families (end sarcasm)

According to a letter from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, roughly $16.1 million will immediately stop once Idaho is out of compliance. An additional $30 million is also in jeopardy because compliance is also tied to the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families.

On the Spokesman Review blog, Sisyphus said:

The party of personal responsibility just let deadbeat parents off the hook and assured all those children will now have to go on government programs for food and health care. Brilliant strategy Napoleon. No hypocrisy there. Fiscally conservative is not fiscally responsible.

"Here's what the right-wing has in, there's no shortage of the natural resources of ignorance, apathy, hate, fear. As long as those things are in the collective conscious and unconscious, the Republicans will have some votes." - Janeane Garofalo