November 19,2010

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Baucus Applauds Yearlong Extension of Job Training, Aid for Low-Income Families

Finance Chair Championed Bill to Extend Temporary Assistance to Needy Familes Program for One Year

Washington, DCSenate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.) today applauded the Senate’s passage of a bill to extend aid for low-income American families through the Temporary Assistance to Needy Families program (TANF).  TANF provides safety-net assistance to American families with dependent children in the form of job training and job search support, child care and transportation in addition to other services that help people transition back to work.

“The extension of this program means families in Montana and across the country who face dire economic circumstances will be able to strive for a higher level of financial security and independence,” Baucus said.  “This legislation ensures many individuals and families will continue receiving the aid and support services that provide the opportunities they need to get back on their feet, particularly while the economy continues to recover. One in seven Americans is living in poverty – the number of children in poverty is even greater – and that needs to change.  This legislation works to lower those alarming figures and helps more families transition to work.” 

Baucus has worked for months to pass an extension of the TANF program and secured a two-month extension of the program to prevent expiration in September.  Also in September, Baucus convened a Finance Committee hearing to examine the assistance that TANF provides to women and children living in poverty at which he argued that now is not the time to cut benefits with millions facing extreme economic hardship.

The TANF program is funded by flexible block grants provided to states by the federal government.  Each state receives a predetermined portion of the total funding budgeted every year and can use that money to fund a range of work opportunity programs including job training and job search assistance, child care, and early teen social services.

The Finance Committee has jurisdiction over the TANF program.