March 10,2005

Baucus Introduces the Encouraging Work Act of 2005

Senator Working to Increase Job Opportunities Across the Country

(WASHINGTON, D.C.) U.S. Senators Max Baucus (D-Mont.) and Rick Santorum (R-Pa.) joined togetherto introduce bipartisan legislation permanently extending and improving the Work Opportunity Tax Credit(WOTC) and the Welfare-to-Work (W-t-W) tax credit.

Since 1996, these two tax credits have played an integral role in assisting over 2.2 million individualsdependent on public assistance enter the workforce. These hiring tax incentives help level the job selectionplaying field by providing employers with additional resources to help recruit, select, train and retain peoplefacing significant barriers to find stable employment.

“The statistics about the number of people who have been able to join the workforce because of theWork Opportunity Tax Credit and Welfare-to-Work tax credit speak volumes about the success of theseprograms,” Baucus said. “Passing the Encouraging Work Act of 2005 will be crucial if we're to continue thissuccess. Passing this legislation will move people off the welfare roles and into the workforce. I'm pleased tobe working together with Senator Santorum to help provide more job opportunities for people across thecountry."

“I am pleased to work with Senator Baucus on this effort to continue to create promisingopportunities for all Americans,” said Senator Santorum. “The Encouraging Work Act of 2005 is animportant step in helping Americans shift from public assistance programs to lives of self-sufficiency. Iurge my colleagues in the Senate to support this meaningful legislation.”

The Encouraging Work Act of 2005 will:

· make the Work Opportunity Tax Credit and Welfare to Work tax credit permanent,encouraging more employers to participate;

· combine the two credit programs, which will reduce administrative burden and complexity;and

· improve the effectiveness of the program by, for example, extending opportunities to at-riskmen and fathers of children on welfare.

Baucus today also highlighted the success that his state of Montana has seen due to the WOTCand W-t-W programs.

“In my home state of Montana, both large multinational firms and smaller family-ownedbusinesses have gained new employees through these programs and more than 1,000 Montanans wereeligible to take advantage of the WOTC program,” Baucus said. “Recipients of food stamps, TANF relief,and U.S. veterans in my state and all over the nation have been able to leave welfare roles because of newopportunities created by the WOTC and W-t-W programs. I look forward to passing this bill andpermanently extending these credits."