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Welfare Reform Not the “Success” Ryan Claims

May 25, 2011

House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan cites the “unprecedented success” of welfare reform to support his claim that the House-passed Republican budget that he authored would “strengthen the safety net.” The facts tell a very different story.

The Legacy of the TANF Emergency Fund

February 16, 2011

We and the Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP) issued a major assessment today of states’ use of the TANF Emergency Fund to create subsidized jobs. Two years ago, amidst the worst downturn since the Great Depression, Congress created the fund as part of the 2009 Recovery Act to help states assist the growing number of low-income families hit by the recession.

Many Americans Face Poverty and Hardship During the Holiday Season

December 22, 2010

With the approach of the holidays, a time when Americans come together with family and friends to share the blessings of life, we thought that we’d take a moment to focus on those who are not quite so lucky by providing a snapshot of poverty and hardship in the United States. Unfortunately, millions of Americans are having trouble affording basic necessities. Below are the most current figures available in five important areas.

Federal Welfare Reform Funding Declines Despite Rising Need

December 16, 2010

In recent weeks, the already weak safety net for some of our most vulnerable citizens became substantially weaker. For the first time since 1996 when President Clinton and Congress created the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) block grant as part of welfare reform, no additional TANF funds are available from the federal government to help states respond to the large increases in the number of impoverished families as a result of a recession. We’ve just issued an analysis on the topic.

Killing Expired Program Won’t Save Money

November 9, 2010

Yesterday, the Republican Study Committee issued a press release announcing one of its first ideas for tackling spending: eliminating the TANF Emergency Fund, which the RSC says would save $25 billion over the next decade “by restoring welfare reform.” There are so many problems with this proposal that it’s hard to know where to begin. Here are the facts:

What Lies Ahead After Jobs Fund’s Expiration?

September 30, 2010

Many low-income families across America have experienced considerably less hardship in the downturn than they would have without the TANF Emergency Fund. The fund expires today, which means that starting tomorrow, needy families will have less help getting through what continue to be very tough times.

Jobs Fund Countdown: One Day Until It Dies

September 29, 2010

When Republicans blocked the bill that Senators John Kerry, Richard Durbin, and Robert Casey introduced yesterday to extend the TANF Emergency Fund, they effectively guaranteed that the program will expire tomorrow. Before that happens, it seems worthwhile to recap what the program has accomplished over the last two years:

Jobs Fund Countdown: Two Days Until It Dies

September 28, 2010

Despite continuing efforts by Senate Democrats to extend the TANF Emergency Fund, we are just two days away from its September 30 expiration.

Jobs Fund Countdown: Three Days Until It Dies

September 27, 2010

“Tens of thousands of people will lose their jobs within weeks unless Congress extends one of the more effective job-creating programs in the $787 billion stimulus act,” the New York Times explained yesterday in an article on the TANF Emergency Fund.

Jobs Fund Countdown: Six Days Until It Dies

September 24, 2010

Today, we continue our countdown to the end of the TANF Emergency Fund, which has provided 250,000 Americans with subsidized jobs in the private and public sectors but will expire September 30 — despite continuing high unemployment — unless Congress acts. The fund has enabled formerly unemployed workers to earn a weekly paycheck so they can pay their bills and care for their families. It also has given them an opportunity to gain more work experience and build new skills that will help them find permanent employment as the economy recovers. Here are two examples: