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Resolutions & Amendments

36th International Convention - Anaheim, CA (2004)

Temporary Assistance for Needy Families

Resolution No. 11
36th International Convention
June 21 - 25, 2004
Anaheim, CA


The U.S. House of Representatives recently approved a partisan and extremely conservative five- year extension of the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program that imposes unrealistic work requirements on states without the necessary resources for child care and employment and training necessary to help TANF recipients qualify for jobs with family supporting wages; and


The House TANF bill includes a five state block grant of the food stamp program and broad "superwaiver" authority that will let a governor combine and block grant a wide range of programs including TANF, the Employment Service, Housing and Food Stamp programs and workforce programs, which will lead to further privatization of publicly-administered programs and the elimination of other important federal safeguards; and


Senate legislation, while more modest, still includes unrealistic work requirements and waiver provisions; and


Neither the House nor Senate bill addresses the economic challenges facing poor families, including inadequate job growth, the need for more education and training resources and a minimum wage too low to provide adequate family income and, instead, focuses program requirements and resources on such non-economic matters as promoting marriage; and


For almost two years, TANF has been extended in short increments while Congress has tried and failed to reach a consensus in support of a five-year extension of the program.


That AFSCME urges Congress to approve a three-year simple extension of the TANF program; and


That AFSCME urges Congress to reject legislation that increases work requirements, fails to provide adequate funding for education, training and child care and provides broad waiver authority for a wide variety of federal social service programs.


Richard W. Abelson, Executive Director and Delegate
Paula Dorsey, President and Delegate
AFSCME Council 48