CHN: House TANF Bill Introduced; Hearing Planned
On the first day of the 109th Congress, Representative Deborah Pryce (R-OH) introduced a TANF reauthorization bill ( H.R. 240 ). Although there is not yet a comprehensive analysis, it appears the Personal Responsibility, Work, and Family Promotion Act of 2005 is similar to H.R. 4, which passed the House in the 108th Congress by a vote of 230 to 192 in February 2003
On February 2, Chairman Wally Herger (R-CA) announced the Human Resources subcommittee of the Committee on Ways and Means would hold a hearing on TANF reauthorization on Thursday, February 10 . The subcommittee will hear from both invited and public witnesses. We encourage advocates to request to testify or to submit written testimony to send a message to the subcommittee that a good reauthorization remains a top priority for low-income families.
Meanwhile in the Senate, Republican staff have indicated they would like to move TANF reauthorization legislation in advance of the Senate passing a budget resolution. Bipartisan conversations are taking place to see if there is agreement about moving a bill, but it is not clear if the Finance Committee has time to consider it.
Senator Rick Santorum (R-PA) introduced a welfare reform bill on January 24, 2005 called the Family and Community Protection Act of 2005 (S. 6). This is not necessarily the bill the Finance Committee would consider, but Senator Santorum has been a strong advocate for moving TANF reauthorization as soon as possible.
The authorization for TANF was due to expire in 2002; Congress has extended the program eight times. The most recent extension will expire at the end of March.