Welfare Reform at 20: How We Continue TANF’s Success
As the 20th anniversary of welfare reform approaches, the Ways and Means Committee is taking a look back so we can apply the same successful lessons to help more low-income Americans escape poverty and climb the economic ladder.
Yesterday, we highlighted how reforming the nation’s cash welfare program in 1996 led more single parents with children to find a job, earn a paycheck, and provide for his or her family. Ways and Means Republicans are committed to continuing the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program’s record of success so even more low-income families can get the help they need to live the American Dream.
Earlier this year, the Committee made progress toward the program’s first major reauthorization in ten years by passing six targeted bills to strengthen the program and ensure it continues to effectively serve more families.
These proposals include:
- The Social Impact Partnerships to Pay for Results Act, which provides a one-year extension of TANF and supports innovative and effective social programs that deliver real results.
- The TANF Accountability and Integrity Improvement Act, which prevents states from and lessening work requirements and gaming the system to obtain more federal dollars.
- The Reducing Poverty Through Employment Act, which establishes “reducing child poverty by increasing employment” as an explicit focus of TANF.
- The Accelerating Individuals Into the Workforce Act, which encourages employer-led partnerships to help people move from welfare to work.
- The Improving Employment Outcomes of TANF Recipients Act, which measures state success in helping TANF recipients find a job and build a successful career.
- The What Works to Move Welfare Recipients Into Jobs Act, which promotes proven local solutions that help more people get back to work by establishing a “What Works Clearinghouse” to catalogue effective programs.
As Ways and Means Committee Chairman Brady said:
“Taken together, these bills will begin to strengthen the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program, reduce poverty, and improve the lives of low-income families …
“[these proposals are] also a way for us to jumpstart the conversation around welfare and enacting more successful, 21st Century solutions that reward work and spring Americans from the poverty traps that can hold them back.”
TANF is an important program that can continue to deliver meaningful results for low-income families, but it is only one of the more than 80 anti-poverty programs funded in part by the federal government. In order to ensure our nation’s entire welfare system is improving Americans’ lives and empowering them to succeed, Congress must act. Check back tomorrow to learn more about how Ways and Means Republicans are leading this effort.
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