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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:

Jobs Fund Countdown: Seven Days Until It Dies

September 23, 2010

The TANF Emergency Fund has helped not just individuals and businesses but entire communities — especially those hit hardest by the recession. These communities now face a return to more unemployment and hardship when the fund expires. One example is Perry County, TN, the subject of a Tennessean article on Tuesday. Here are some highlights:

Jobs Fund Countdown: Eight Days Until It Dies

September 22, 2010

As I mentioned yesterday, today begins our countdown to the September 30 expiration of the TANF Emergency Fund, a 2009 Recovery Act fund that states across the country have used to provide 250,000 Americans with subsidized jobs. Below, Amy Mullins explains in a letter to a county official how Colorado’s jobs program, Hire Colorado, has helped her medical testing business not only survive but grow and create permanent jobs despite the recession.