TANF Reform


TANF Reform

RE: FINANCE BILL, August 15, 2002

Women’s Committee of 100 principles are incorporated into H.R. 3113,
the most progressive TANF reauthorization bill currently on the table: H.R. 3113.
Click on the above link to see the Bill Summary, link to full text of the bill and cosponsors.

While we seek thorough-going and long-term changes to end women’s poverty, we also are working to reform the current welfare system (TANF) to end its rights abuses, to improve the vocational and educational choices available to participating mothers, and to provide income support to poor families. In anticipation of the TANF reauthorization debate, we are working on legislative proposals that forward the principles enumerated below. These principles represent our preliminary “bottom line”; we expect that coalition and conversation with grassroots and other advocacy groups will produce a refined and expanded proposal.


A Legislative Agenda for TANF Reform

To enforce TANF’s first goal, “to provide federal assistance to needy families so that children can be cared for in their own homes or homes of relatives” (P.L. 104-193):

  1. stop the clock (on time limits) for education/training
  2. stop the clock for families in compliance
  3. stop the clock where there is a lack of child care
  4. stop the clock for domestic violence survival
  5. stop the clock for sexual harassment survival
  6. stop the clock for caregiving for children under age 6
  7. stop the clock where the TANF monthly benefit is less than half of the family’s monthly income
  8. amend the work requirement so that family work counts as work where children are under age 6
  9. amend the work requirement so that education counts as work
    • define education as 2 or 4 year academic degree program; vocational education; skills training
    • protect academic/vocational freedom by ending caseworker discretion to approve/disapprove the content of education
  10. repeal paternity establishment and child support enforcement sanctions
  11. prohibit the family cap
  12. provide federal monitoring of child care standards
  13. provide federal monitoring of access to welfare and impact of state policies on well-being of women and children
  14. establish federal benefits standards
  15. prohibit proselytizing, faith-based instruction, and discrimination in all welfare agences, ngo’s, work activities, and welfare-to-work programs
  16. enforce the Fair Labor Standards Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act, Title VII, and the Equal Pay Act in all work activities and programs
  17. require states to report anually on the depth of child poverty as well as on the child poverty rate
  18. keep full TANF ’96 appropriations
  19. end the exemption cap
  20. restore the child care entitlement for families participating in or exiting from TANF
  21. An Immodest Proposal

For more information or to sign onto the Women’s Committee of 100/Project 2002 enews list, contact gmink at mochamail.com