On Thursday, April 30, the House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Human Resources held a hearing on the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) block grant. The hearing could be the precursor to a full reauthorization of the program which was last reauthorized in 2005, it has expired and received a series of short term extensions since it last reauthorization expired.
In his opening remarks, Chairman Charles Boustany (R-LA) called for ways to strengthen the program praising the post-1996 era of reforms and increased work but went onto say, “Recent years have seen troubling trends, especially on whether State welfare programs are doing enough to engage adults in work. ‘ He also criticized a 2012 Administration guidance saying, “…the Obama Administration released their unprecedented ‘guidance’ suggesting states could waive the work requirements altogether. While no states sought waivers, that move sent a clear signal that work requirements don’t matter to the Obama Administration.” He did however suggest that there could be some common ground between the subcommittee and Administration when he highlighted, “…the President’s Budget would prohibit the use of ‘nongovernmental third party expenditures to meet state Maintenance of Effort requirements’ and includes ‘a provision to ensure that states use