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Poverty’s Up, But Jobs Program Is Almost Gone

September 21, 2010

“Perhaps the biggest scandal of all — especially after last week’s Census Bureau finding that one in seven Americans is living in poverty — would be to allow the expiration of an emergency fund included in the stimulus to subsidize jobs for low-income parents and young Americans,” columnist E. J. Dionne wrote yesterday. But that’s exactly what will happen unless Congress acts within the next ten days to renew the TANF Emergency Fund, which 37 states have used to provide one-quarter of a million people with jobs.

Real Voices: Thanks to the TANF Emergency Fund

August 30, 2010

I have written several recent posts about the importance of extending the TANF Emergency Fund, a part of last year’s federal American Recovery and Reinvestment Act that states and localities are using to help place 240,000 individuals in subsidized jobs in the private and public sectors. I won’t repeat those arguments today. Instead, I’ll share with you what people who are working because of the fund say about it.

“Our Blue-Collar Great Depression”

August 25, 2010

In an op-ed in today’s Wall Street Journal (“Our Blue-Collar Great Depression”), Rockefeller Foundation executive Janice Nittoli makes a compelling argument for extending the TANF Emergency Fund. I’ve written several times (see here and here) that Congress should extend this Recovery Act-created fund — which states and localities are using to help create some 240,000 subsidized jobs in the private and public sectors — beyond its September 30 expiration. As Nittoli explains:

More on the TANF Emergency Fund

July 30, 2010

A front-page story in yesterday’s New York Times emphasized that the TANF Emergency Fund, which states and localities are using to help create some 240,000 subsidized jobs in the private and public sectors, has helped many businesses as well as jobless workers weather the recession. That’s an important point that Congress should keep in mind as it decides how to help small businesses weather the recession.

Going, Going, Almost Gone

July 26, 2010

Time is running out for the highly successful subsidized jobs programs that states have created with the TANF Emergency Fund.

The House has voted twice to extend the fund, a 2009 Recovery Act program that will help place an estimated 240,000 low-income parents and youth in subsidized private- or public-sector jobs by its September 30 expiration. The costs of the House extensions were fully offset so they wouldn’t add a penny to the deficit. But in the Senate, an extension has been part of larger bills that have stalled due to conflicts over provisions unrelated to the fund. What happens if Congress fails to act before the fund expires?

TANF Emergency Fund Jobs Provide an Alternative to Welfare

July 12, 2010

South Carolina is one of 30-odd states that are using the TANF Emergency Fund to help create nearly 200,000 subsidized jobs across the country — and one of many states that will have to start shutting down their programs in the next few weeks if Congress fails to extend the fund. States are using the fund, which Congress created in last year’s Recovery Act, to help cover the wages for private- or public-sector jobs for low-income parents and youth, including people who would otherwise qualify for cash assistance through the regular TANF (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families) program.

More Praise for Job-Creating TANF Emergency Fund

July 6, 2010

“A Jobs Program that Works” is New York Times columnist Bob Herbert’s apt description of the TANF Emergency Fund, which more than 30 states are using to help create private- and public-sector jobs for nearly 200,000 adults and youth. The job market’s continued weakness shows why these programs remain important tools for boosting employment and the overall economy. But as I’ve warned, many states will begin shutting down their programs in the next few weeks unless Congress extends the fund.

Subsidized Jobs Programs Peaking as Expiration Looms

June 23, 2010

I’ve been calling the TANF Emergency Fund the Recovery Act’s best-kept secret, but the secret is out — just ask the nearly 200,000* adults and youth who will get jobs through one of the many subsidized jobs programs the fund supports across the country (see map). The Senate is considering jobs legislation that would extend the fund (which expires September 30) for a year and fully offset the cost. This may be the last chance for congressional action before both the fund and most of those jobs disappear.

“YouCut” Stacks the Deck Against Emergency Fund

May 18, 2010

Given the wildly inaccurate description of the TANF Emergency Fund on the “YouCut” website, the vote to eliminate the program is meaningless. Far from a “backdoor way to undo” welfare reform, the fund has enabled states to expand work-focused programs within TANF despite high unemployment and a weak economy.

The Recovery Act’s Best-Kept Secret, Cont.

May 17, 2010

In an earlier post, I explained that the TANF Emergency Fund is helping to place some 180,000 low-income parents and youth who would otherwise be unemployed into paid jobs in the private and public sectors. The table below lists the estimated number of jobs in most of the 35 states that are operating jobs programs (or are planning to) using the fund.

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