HARRISON L. WINTER, Chief Judge:
The issue which this appeal presents has brought about conflicting answers by the two courts of appeals and the several district courts that have addressed it. The issue is whether, since enactment of §§ 2301 and 2302 of the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (OBRA), Pub.L. 97-35, 95 Stat. 843-45 (1981) (codified at 42 U.S.C. §§ 602(a)(7) and (8)), in determining eligibility and benefits under the Aid to Families With Dependent Children (AFDC) program,
This case arose by a class action in the district court charging that the Secretary of the Maryland Department of Human Resources and the United States Secretary of Health and Human Services are acting illegally when they determine AFDC eligibility and benefits on the basis of income before taxes, except to the extent that such taxes may be included in a statutory "disregard" of $75.00 per month. The district court held that they were not, and we affirm.
The opinion of the district court is reported as Bell v. Hettleman, 558 F.Supp. 386 (D.Md.1983). It sets forth the facts and specific legal issues. As the opinion carefully recites, the statutes and regulations for determining eligibility and benefits for AFDC families have been amended from time to time since their inception in 1939. We are concerned with the 1981 OBRA amendments codified as 42 U.S.C. §§ 602(a)(7) and (8). The pertinent portions are set forth below.
Principally on the basis of this longstanding construction, the Ninth Circuit in Turner held that "income" as used in § 602(a)(7) meant income after mandatorily withheld taxes, i.e., take-home pay, and the beginning point for determining AFDC eligibility and benefits was thus income after taxes and not gross income. The Third Circuit in James held to the contrary. It concluded that the legislative history of OBRA made it clear that it was the intent of Congress in enacting OBRA that henceforth gross income was to be the starting point for determining AFDC eligibility and benefits and that taxes and other employment-related expenses were to be disregarded only to the extent that they met the requirements of § 602(a)(8), i.e., were within the $75 "disregard."
Both courts of appeals, as well as the district court from which this appeal was taken, have exhaustively and thoroughly considered all of the arguments pro and con for the various conclusions that they reached. We can add nothing new to the discussion. Nor can we resolve the conflict between the two circuits. Certainly it is beyond our function as judges to express any views with regard to the social desirability of the policy determinations made by Congress when it enacted OBRA. Confining ourselves to the legal issues, we can only say that, after careful study and deliberate thought, we find ourselves in agreement with the views of the Third Circuit and the district court.
We affirm the judgment of the district court for the reasons advanced by them.
and further, § 602(a)(8)(A) provides that "in making the determination under paragraph (7), the State agency" shall do the following:
As enforcement adjuncts to the "disregards" set forth in § 602(a)(8)(A), subparagraph (B) provides that the "disregards" shall not be recognized when the employable family member terminates or refuses employment without good cause or fails to make timely reports of earned income. Further, it provides that the "disregard" established in subparagraph (A)(iv) shall be available for only four months out of a sixteen-month period.