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Stop Shameful TANF Legislation
1/18/2006
In a flurry of legislative activity in both the House and the Senate as they tried to complete legislative business before going home for Christmas, Congress sent a cruel Christmas present to low- and moderate-income families - legislation that makes severe cuts to services, especially in the renewal of the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families Program (TANF) -- a federal program moving the working poor and those receiving government support into well paying jobs through training or education.

This shameful legislation passed before Christmas, Conference Bill S. 1932, gives each state a choice: increase participation in work activities or reduce the number of families receiving assistance. With no way to fund the cost of the bill’s requirements, states face a strong incentive to cut assistance.

But, we got lucky – due to slight differences between the House and Senate versions of the bill, we get one last chance to protect TANF and the important programs that it provides to children, families, and the working poor.

Your voice is needed! The House is expected to vote on TANF Reauthorization included in the budget when they return on February 1 – your Representative needs to hear from you before then. CLICK HERE to contact your Representative today and urge them to oppose the current reauthorization of Temporary Assistance for Needy Families.

The current version of "reauthorization" or renewal of TANF includes significant changes to work participation requirements that would put enormous pressure on state child care programs and could lead to a sharp drop in funding for low-income working families not receiving TANF. Even before the additional work requirements were added, the federal child care funds were inadequate. Studies of TANF recipients have shown that the lack of affordable, quality child care is the single largest obstacle to employment for families receiving TANF. In order to meet both the child care and work costs of these new requirements, states may decide to cut child care for low-income working families who are not receiving TANF cash assistance. By 2010, an estimated 255,000 fewer child care slots will be available for low-income working families than in 2004.

Take Action! Send a letter to your Representative today and urge them to oppose the current reauthorization of Temporary Assistance for Needy Families.



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