WELFARE REFORM ACT:
Congress Begins Considering Reauthorization of TANFThe reauthorization of welfare—Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF)—is being taken up in the Senate Finance Committee, and is expected to go to a floor vote in the next few weeks. At issue is $7 billion in childcare funding, increased opportunities for education and training, and the required "work week" for parents with children under age six.
An estimated 12 percent of the US population now lives in poverty, according to recent studies. This represents an increase of 1.3 million over the previous year.
According to analysts of the National Organization for Women, "Republicans and Democrats have been locked in disagreement over a significant increase in childcare monies that the Democrats wanted—and a serious increase in the number of hours (40 hours of "work participation") that the Republicans insisted on" for parents receiving assistance.
It appears that the committee will be able to reach a bipartisan agreement to allocate $6 to $7 billion over five years for childcare subsidies. The Republicans have given up on insisting that all mothers in the welfare-to-work program have to work 40 hours per week. Instead, mothers of pre-school children (about half the women on TANF) will have to work 24 hours per week; those with children over age six will be required to work 34 hours.
Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-Maine)'s Parents As Scholars Program bill is also being considered. It would improve opportunities for a percentage of welfare-to-work recipients to attend a two- or four-year college full-time.
Though the committee may reach a consensus on these provisions, it remains unsure that a majority of senators will agree on these measures.
The NOW analysts charge that some aspects of the proposed new legislation are "worse than current law"—the welfare reform act passed in 1996. Among the provisions of the Grassley draft bill, Personal Responsibility and Individual Development for Everyone (PRIDE) (the language had not yet been finalized as this story went to press), are the following items that NOW finds objectionable:
The "super-waiver" provision in the proposed legislation would allow up to 10 states to override all federal requirements in their TANF program, low-income housing programs, Head Start and other human needs programs. This means that these states could ignore protections written into federal law to protect civil rights, improve services and set eligibility and service standards.
For more information, visit the forum on the Coalition on Human Needs' Welfare Reauthorization Project.
Copyright © 2003 The Baltimore Chronicle and The Sentinel. All rights reserved. We invite your comments, criticisms and suggestions.
Republication or redistribution of Baltimore Chronicle and Sentinel content is expressly prohibited without their prior written consent.
This story was published on September 19, 2003.
Local Stories, Events
Ref. : Civic Events
Ref. : Arts & Education Events
Ref. : Public Service Notices
Books, Films, Arts & Education
Ref. : Letters to the editor
Health Care & Environment
06.20 ALEC’s Deadly Asbestos Agenda Benefits Koch Industries, Nationwide [the sociopaths are at it again]
06.16 Delhi's air pollution is now so bad it is literally off the chart [an increasingly deadly problem]
06.15 What if Canada had backed wind energy instead of the oil sands? [infographic]
News Media Matters
US Politics, Policy & 'Culture'
06.23 National Suicide Point?
06.22 As 'Wealthiest and Freest Country in the World,' Nikki Haley Tells Bernie Sanders It's 'Ridiculous' to Examine US Poverty [how underregulated capitalism kills people and entire nations]
06.22 50 Years Later, We Still Have a Dream [how underregulated capitalism kills people and entire nations]
06.21 James Comey: 'You stare at children crying – what kind of people are we?’ [We have stupidly allowed bribery and greed to corrupt government to the point where morality—and what's best for people is totally ignored...is considered too late.]
Economics, Crony Capitalism
06.22 The Unsurpassed Power Trip by an Insuperable Control Freak: An Open Letter to Jeff Bezos [how underregulated capitalism kills people and entire nations]
International & Futurism
06.23 Top Six Dictators who also Divided Children from Parents like Trump/Sessions [joining the Elite Sociopaths Club]
06.22 Europe’s democrats must unite to prevent a far-right takeover [how underregulated capitalism kills people and entire nations]