The House of Representatives passed another three-month TANF extension on the morning of June 29 and the Senate followed suit on Thursday, June 30. This is the 10th time TANF has been temporarily extended.
On the House side, a controversy about paying for some of the costs of the bill slowed down the extension to within a day of TANF’s expiration. However, the House Committee on Ways and Means secured the agreement of the Energy and Commerce Committee to bear the costs of extending Transitional Medical Assistance (TMA) for families leaving welfare for work and for abstinence-only programs, since both of those programs are under the jurisdiction of Energy and Commerce. Additional costs for TMA and abstinence-only programs that go beyond the funds allocated to Energy and Commerce in the budget resolution will be offset by savings they find, either in the reconciliation bill or in other legislation.
TMA costs $850 million annually, while abstinence-only programs cost $50 million a year. It is not yet known where the Energy and Commerce Committee will seek savings. They have jurisdiction over Medicaid and other programs, with a net savings target of $14.7 billion over 5 years that they are required to incorporate in a reconciliation bill by September 16.