Senate Vote on TANF Reauthorization Soon

February 12, 2004

President’s Day Recess is Your Opportunity to Meet Senators at Home

Senators will be at home the week of February 16 for the President’s Day recess. Next week would be an ideal time to call or visit them in support of Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF), the nation’s primary cash assistance program for low-income working families with children. You can find information on how to reach their state offices at and to request information on public appearances or town hall meetings. Call or visit their state offices to express your concerns, or send e-mail to either or both Washington and state offices. Do not write to their Washington offices as mail delivery to Capitol Hill Congressional office was suspended pending additional measures.

The Senate is likely to vote before the end of February on the Personal Responsibility and Individual Development for Everyone (PRIDE) Act. This is the Senate Finance Committee’s effort to reauthorize TANF. The PRIDE bill reflects some of the Episcopal Church’s principles for TANF reauthorization but falls short in other areas.


Contact your Senators and urge them to support amendments on the Senate floor that will:


  • Increase funding by at least $6 billion above the Finance Committee level to meet child care needs (Senators Snowe and Dodd are sponsoring this amendment); Click here for a link to the Snoweflake campaign!
  • Restore full benefits to immigrants, including TANF, child health and Medicaid assistance, child care, and education and job training (Sen. Clinton’s amendment would reinstate TANF eligibility);
  • Retain the current work-hour requirements for parents of children;
  • Expand education and training opportunities by counting participation in such programs as complying with work requirements for 24 months, and support the Parents as Scholars program, allowing 10% of TANF recipients to get post-secondary education;
  • Eliminate the “superwaiver” provision allowing ten states to waive federal requirements in order to coordinate TANF, Social Service Block Grant, and child care programs;
  • Allow states to count participation in activities designed to help TANF recipients overcome barriers to employment as complying with the work requirement for more than six months if the necessity to do so can be documented.

    Please contact your Senators at 1-800-270-0309 TODAY and ask them to support reauthorization of Temporary Assistance for Needy Families and increased Child Care funding.