June 16,2000

Roth, Moynihan, Hatch, Kennedy, Grassley and Graham Join Forces to Fight for Low-Income Children and Families

WASHINGTON -- A bipartisan group of senators today joined forces to warn that provisions in a pending appropriations measure have the potentional to undermine a critical children's health insurance program as well as programs to help families leaving welfare.

Senators William V. Roth, Jr. (R-DE), Daniel Patrick Moynihan (D-NY), Orrin Hatch (R-UT), Edward Kennedy (D-MA), Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and Bob Graham (D-FL) blasted provisions in the Labor, Health and Human Services appropriations bill as, "incredibly short-sighted decisions that will have profoundly adverse effects on the poorest Americans".

The provisions in the legislation that would have these adverse affects are:

• A $1.9 billion cut in federal spending for the State Children's Health Insurance Program which provides health insurance to lower income children. This cut could prevent two million children from receiving health insurance;

• A $1.1 billion reduction in Title XX Social Services Block Grant;

• A $240 million funding recission from the Temporary Aid for Needy Families program;

• Elimination of a $50 million performance bonus that rewards states that train and successfully find jobs for the hardest-to-employ welfare recipients.

"We intend to exert every effort to have these provisions removed," the members stated in the letter. "We urge the Appropriators to remove these provisions from the bill on the floor and promise our continued opposition if they are not."