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39th Time . . .

June 04, 2019

The news: This week, the House passed H.R. 2940.  The bill extends federal funding for the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program, our nation’s cash assistance and services programs for low-income households with children.

This is a good thing, right? There is vast support for this important program in both parties.  And as lawmakers on both sides of the aisle attest, it desperately needs reforms.

Unfortunately, instead of working with Republicans toward solutions to improve this program, Democrats instead have decided to do a straight continuation of funding.

For. The. 39th. Consecutive. Time.

Under Republican chairmen, the Ways and Means Committee has considered improvements to the program 14 times since TANF was created.  Under Democrat chairmen, that number is zero.

Workers and families deserve better.  As Rep. Kevin Brady (R-TX) and Rep. Jackie Walorski (R-IN), the top Republicans on the Committee with jurisdiction over this program, wrote to Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD),the status quo is not working.”

States have become complacent in not providing families with the support they need,” the Republican lawmakers stressed.  Which is why, “to return the focus to families,” Reps. Brady and Walorski introduced the JOBS for Success Act.

Republicans are working toward a long-term solution. The JOBS for Success Act reforms this cash-for-work program for the first time since 2005.  It puts the focus back on families in a few key ways.

  • Work Supports. The JOBS for Success Act increases resources for child care and refocuses dollars back to supporting work.
  • State Accountability.  For too long, states have used dollars from this program to fill budget holes.  That doesn’t cut it – and it’s unfair to the families who need this support most.  Our bill puts a stop to this practice.
  • Jobs, Not Complacency.  The bill moves away from process and focuses on outcomes, to ensure parents are not just getting a job, but staying and growing into a career so more families can climb the economic ladder.

The bottom line: House Democrats continue to focus on impeaching the President (a few more times, in case you need further proof), rather than focusing on the work that folks sent lawmakers here to accomplish.

Republicans want to work with Democrats to help families succeed – and American’s agree Congress needs to work together to help families thrive in this growing economy.  Which is why the JOBS for Success Act, which has bicameral support, deserves immediate action.

As Rep. Walorski said:

“The first step on the bridge out of poverty is getting a job, keeping a job, and moving through the ranks to higher pay and more benefits. . . .

“Republicans want to work on bipartisan changes to improve child care under TANF, and we have come forward with a viable plan to improve support for families in need by nearly doubling historic funding levels.  I know my colleagues on the other side of the aisle have the same desire, and I hope we can find common ground before the next bill comes to the floor.”

For more information on the JOBS for Success Act, please see:

CLICK HERE to read the letter Reps. Brady and Walorski sent to Speaker Pelosi and Leader Hoyer.