Vice President for Family Income Support Policy
All three witnesses at a hearing yesterday on Temporary Assistance for Needy Families agreed that TANF has failed in two important respects. First, it has not adequately prepared program participants for long-term employment success. Second, it did not respond adequately to increased need during the recession.
Congress will not likely reauthorize TANF before its most recent extension expires on September 30, 2012. Instead, Congress will likely extend the program temporarily again before considering full reauthorization next year.
In the meantime, Congress could make several changes that would improve the program in the short term and help to set the stage for next year’s deliberations.
I would recommend four changes: