Walorski Applauds House Passage of TANF Extension

Monday, January 14, 2019

Walorski Applauds House Passage of TANF Extension

Bill Extends Aid for Families in Need While Congress Works Toward Long-Term Renewal

WASHINGTON – U.S. Rep. Jackie Walorski (R-Ind.) today applauded House passage of bipartisan legislation to extend Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) through June while Congress works on reforms and a long-term renewal of the safety net program.

“Our safety net is essential to helping people who fall on hard times get back on their feet, but too often it becomes a web that traps people in a cycle of poverty,” Congresswoman Walorski said. “Over these next couple of months, we have an opportunity to work together on a long-term extension of TANF that makes commonsense reforms to the program to ensure no one gets left on the sidelines. Right now, the status quo isn’t working. But by focusing on workforce development, measuring work outcomes, and requiring states to engage with recipients at an individual level, we can help move people out of poverty, off TANF, and onto the road to success.”

BACKGROUND

The TANF Extension Act of 2019 (H.R. 430), which passed the House by unanimous voice vote, extends authorization for TANF through June 30, 2019.

In 2017, Walorski and U.S. Senator Todd Young (R-Ind.) introduced bicameral legislation, the Coordinating Assistance for TANF Recipients Act, which aims to improve case management coordination for individuals receiving TANF assistance. Individuals who apply for TANF assistance often also receive benefits and services from other programs. In many cases, beneficiaries must meet with multiple caseworkers and visit different offices to satisfy the requirements of each program. By improving coordination between programs, the bill would streamline assistance and better help recipients find jobs and become self-sufficient.

Video of Walorski speaking on the House floor in support of H.R. 430 is available here. The full text of her speech is below.

“Mr. Speaker, I rise today in support of H.R. 430, the TANF Extension Act of 2019, which extends the authorization of the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program through June 30th, while we finish up our work on a long-term extension.

“Our safety net is essential to helping people who fall on hard times get back on their feet, but too often it becomes a web that traps people in a cycle of poverty.  One of the keys to breaking that cycle is human interaction, rather than treating recipients like another number on a government spreadsheet.

“It takes people on the front lines of the fight against poverty to make sure we are looking at the root causes of the problem and actually doing something to help people across the country build an economic ladder out of poverty.

“Those in the trenches fighting poverty need the flexibility to develop innovative solutions tailored to local needs that will empower individuals to move to work and to achieve the American Dream.

“Over these next couple of months, we have an opportunity to work together on a long-term extension of TANF that makes commonsense reforms to the program to ensure no one gets left on the sidelines.

“Right now, the status quo isn’t working. But by focusing on workforce development, measuring work outcomes, and requiring states to engage with recipients at an individual level, we can help move people out of poverty, off TANF, and onto the road to success.

“I want to thank Chairman Neal and Ranking Member Brady for their work on this issue.  I look forward to working with them and my other colleagues on the Ways and Means Committee on a multi-year TANF extension.

“Mr. Speaker, I urge my colleagues to support this bill and yield back the balance of my time.”

Walorski represents the 2nd Congressional District of Indiana, serving as a member of the House Ways and Means Committee.

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