Expanding access to TANF would reduce extreme poverty

in 2005, 40 percent of eligible families received cash benefits under TANF, down from 84 percent in 1995, prior to welfare reform.  A recent GAO report estimated that 800,000 fewer children -- a 17 percent reduction -- would have been in extreme poverty (income below half the poverty threshold) in 2005 if the share of eligible families receiving cash benefits under TANF had been 84 percent.

 

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