June 23, 2011

Legislation Would Extend TANF Supplemental Grants to Help States with High Poverty but Low Federal Funding

Washington—U.S. Congressman Lloyd Doggett, Ranking Member of the Human Resources Subcommittee, yesterday introduced legislation to prevent the expiration of federal funding designed to protect vulnerable Americans by reducing disparities between the States in the amount of Federal funding provided under the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program.  The legislation is co-sponsored by all members of the Texas Democratic Congressional Delegation.  Without action on this issue, states stand to lose more than $3 billion over the next ten years, including over $500 million in Texas.  The loss of these grants would place at risk a range of vital services, including efforts to ensure that children are cared for in their homes, child care assistance for working parents, and job training and other employment services for low-income individuals. 


Representative Doggett said, “Over 15 years ago, funds were set aside to help States that were negatively affected by the formula used to disburse Federal funding for helping low-income families get back on their feet.  Ever since, Texas and many other States have depended on these funds to help people leave welfare for work.  At a time when so many services are being cut at both the state and federal level, I am calling on the Republican leadership in Congress to maintain this vital commitment to vulnerable families in Texas and around the country.” 

While the base Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program is funded through FY 2011, the Supplemental Grants paid under the program are scheduled to expire on June 30, and States received only a partial payment for the April-June quarter.   The Supplemental Grants were established as part of the 1996 welfare law to reduce disparities between the States in the amount of Federal TANF funding provided relative to the number of individuals living below the poverty line in each State, and to address population increases preceding the law. If these grants are not extended, many of the 17 States now receiving them will have their total funding under TANF cut by roughly 10% during the next calendar quarter.  The legislation introduced by Representative Doggett would continue to fully fund the TANF Supplemental Grants through FY 2011.  Future extensions could then be considered during any broader reauthorization of the overall TANF program.





Annual Amount States Receiving TANF Supp Grants Stand to Lose




$11.09 million




$6.89 million




$23.93 million




$6.21 million




$13.57 million




$60.41 million




$37.28 million




$3.49 million




$17.02 million




$9.03 million




$1.13 million




$3.73 million


New Mexico


$6.55 million


North Carolina


$36.11 million




$21.56 million




$52.70 million




$8.70 million




$319 million