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Brady, Smith Release Legislation to Reauthorize TANF, Close Jobs Gap

May 08, 2018

Washington, D.C. – Today, Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady (R-TX) and Human Resources Subcommittee Chairman Adrian Smith (R-NE) released a discussion draft to reauthorize the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program, the nation’s cash welfare and services program for low-income families that requires Congressional action by September of this year.

Upon release of this discussion draft, Chairman Brady said:

“Thanks to pro-growth tax reform, our economy is finally firing on all cylinders, but one thing I hear constantly from job creators is that they need more workers—even though millions of Americans are on the sidelines. Our ‘Jobs and Opportunity’ hearing series has underscored this need and that’s why we need the TANF program to refocus on the outcome of work—helping more Americans get jobs and keep them. This is the way to close the jobs gap and keep our economy growing.

“I want to thank Chairman Smith for all of his hard work on this front. I look forward to moving this important measure through our Committee soon.” 

Background: The Human Resources Subcommittee has been holding hearings, including this year on “Jobs and Opportunity.” This has been an opportunity for lawmakers to discuss with program participants, local service providers, the Administration, and employers how Congress can address and close the jobs gap – the difference between employers’ increasing demand for workers in a strong economy and the relatively low percent of working-age individuals in the workforce.

The Ways and Means Committee knows the reauthorization of TANF is key to helping close the jobs gap. The discussion draft:

  • Extends TANF for five years, as well as child care and related programs;
  • Expects universal engagement and case management to address the needs of struggling families;
  • Measures work outcomes to hold states accountable for the intended purpose of the program;
  • Limits the use of TANF funds to families who truly need it the most by requiring monthly income to be below 200% of the poverty level; and
  • Focuses on work and activities that lead to work, ultimately creating the building blocks for people’s success.

CLICK HERE to read the discussion draft.

CLICK HERE to view the short summary of the legislation.

CLICK HERE to read a section-by-section summary.