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Chairman Smith Applauds Introduction of Legislation to Block Biden Administration Targeting of Pregnancy Resource Centers

January 10, 2024

Supporting Pregnant and Parenting Women and Families Act will be marked up by the Ways & Means Committee on Thursday, January 11

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Ways and Means Committee members Representative Michelle Fischbach (MN-07) and Representative Claudia Tenney (NY-24), and Pro-Life Caucus Co-Chair Representative Chris Smith (NJ-04) introduced the Supporting Pregnant and Parenting Women and Families Act today to block a proposed Biden Administration rule that could prohibit states from giving Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) funds to pregnancy centers which support the life of both the mother and unborn child. 2,700 such centers across the country provide vital services to expectant mothers like diapers, food, prenatal care, and parenting classes. If the rule were to take effect, pregnant women would lose access to maternal services critical to both the health of the mother and unborn child.

The bipartisan law that established TANF set out state flexibility as one of its primary goals. To that end, the law explicitly prohibits any Administration from creating restrictions on the use of TANF funds so long as they fulfill one of the program’s four goals. By setting specific prohibitions for where states can send TANF funds, this rule is openly violating the letter of the law and ignoring the intent of Congress. The responsibility to change and improve TANF lies with Congress, not unelected federal bureaucrats. 

Ways and Means Committee Chairman Jason Smith (MO-08) released the following statement upon introduction of the bill:

“Congress must stand up for expectant mothers and preserve their access to maternal care. The Biden Administration’s proposed rule could deny women resources like diapers and prenatal care needed for a safe and healthy pregnancy. Not only will it harm pregnant women today and in the future, the proposed rule violates the law. In establishing the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program, Congress explicitly created flexibility for states to address the unique needs of their populations by prohibiting bureaucrats from dictating how and where to spend program funds so long as they fulfill one of the core goals of the program. I hope that my colleagues will join me in making sure this anti-mother rule never leaves the drawing board. Thank you to Representatives Fischbach and Tenney for introducing this legislation and their staunch defense of families and the unborn, as well as Representative Chris Smith for his support and for his tireless leadership on this issue as co-chair of the Pro-Life Caucus.”

Committee Activity

  • November 28, 2023: Chairman Smith and Work and Welfare Subcommittee Chairman Darin LaHood (IL-16) send a letter to Secretary Xavier Becerra demanding the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) withdraw its proposed TANF rule, highlighting the agency’s lack of legal authority to create the rule and how it weakens the welfare reforms in the Fiscal Responsibility Act.
  • January 11, 2024: The Ways and Means Committee will hold a markup of the Supporting Pregnant and Parenting Women and Families Act.

Read bill text here.