CHN: Farm Bill Conference Continues at Slow Pace
Articles from April 15, 2002
- Representative Herger Introduces TANF Reauthorization Bill
On April 9, House Ways and Means Human Resources Subcommittee Chairman Wally Herger (R-CA) introduced the Personal Responsibility, Work and Family Promotion Act of 2002 (HR 4090). Similar legislation to reauthorize the Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) program (HR 4092) was introduced the same day by Howard “Bud” McKeon (R-CA). McKeon is the Chairman of the House Education and Workforce Subcommittee on 21st Century Competitiveness. Both bills largely mirror the TANF reauthorization proposal put forth by President Bush in February. The Ways and Means Committee has primary jurisdiction over the TANF program, and is expected to mark-up Representative Herger’s bill later this week.
- Thompson Defends Bush TANF Plan
Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Tommy Thompson was called to testify before the House Education and Workforce Committee on April 9, as congressional activity on the reauthorization of the Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) program heightens. Also on April 9, Education and Workforce Committee member Representative Howard McKeon (R-CA) introduced the Working Toward Independence Act of 2002 (HR 4092).
- Ways And Means Committee Hears Testimony on TANF
The House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Human Resources convened a hearing on April 11 to address the upcoming reauthorization of the Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) block grant. The committee, led by Chairman Wally Herger (R-CA) and Ranking Member Benjamin Cardin (D-MD), heard testimony from a wide variety of interested parties, including congressional colleagues, state representatives, advocates, academic experts, faith-based groups, and welfare recipients.
- Farm Bill Conference Continues at Slow Pace
On Wednesday, April 10, Senate and House Conferees took up the nutrition title of the much-debated Farm Bill (HR 2646). House conferees rejected an offer to scale back the Senate’s floor-approved immigrant provision, which is also backed by the Bush Administration. The Senate plan would restore food stamp eligibility to those legal immigrants who have resided in the country for at least five years. Senate conferees then rejected a counter proposal from House Republicans that would have provided eligibility for fewer legal immigrants, at a cost of approximately $2 billion less than the $2.4 billion contained in the Senate measure for this provision. In addition to the unresolved immigrant provision, two issues remain under debate: the reduction of food stamp eligibility limits for jobless, childless adults, and the use of food stamps to purchase vitamins and dietary supplements. On March 19, conferees agreed to set funding for the nutrition title at $6.4 billion dollars over ten years, which is almost twice as much as the House originally proposed but less than the $8.9 billion contained in the Senate bill. The conferees plan to meet this week to finalize their work on the Farm Bill.