Act Now to Extend the TANF Emergency Fund
Created by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, the TANF Emergency Fund expired on September 30, 2010. The TANF Emergency Fund was been a valuable tool in promoting assistance to vulnerable families, and it should be continued because far too many families are still facing high levels of unemployment and need.
There is still a slim possibility that Congress will add funding for the TANF Emergency Fund during the "lame duck" session that begins mid-November. Please make sure your Representative and Senators know how the Emergency Fund made a difference and what an extension would mean in your state. Also contact your Governor and state officials and urge them to encourage your congressional delegation to support this important legislation.
States used the Emergency Fund to provide subsidized jobs, mostly in the private sector, for nearly 250,000 otherwise unemployed parents and youth. States also used the TANF Emergency Fund to cover the costs of rising caseloads, to help families stave off crises and to help non-profits that address basic needs (such as food banks) to meet the rising demand for services. These programs and services are now threatened with dire cuts.
This program has received bipartisan support. Subsidized employment programs have been created in states with both Democratic and Republican governors. Kevin Hassert with the American Enterprise Institute recently made the following statement about the extension of the TANF Emergency Fund: "Given the state of the labor market, it is hard to imagine how any sensible person could oppose such a move. It is shame that such common sense was absent last year. If they are to be more than the party of no, Republicans need to rally around the Democrats who have shown such reserved pragmatism."
More information on the TANF Emergency Fund.