Letter to HHS Urging Public Comments in Advance of TANF Reauthorization

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June 2009
  • Workplace Equality and Economic Empowerment
  • Testimony and Public Comments
  • Archival Material

Letter from Irasema Garza, former Legal Momentum President, to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services urging Secretary Sebelius to solicit public comments in advance of TANF's reauthorization.

Excerpt

"Public comment is no less important now than it was during the process of TANF’s initial reauthorization. The Department’s own reports suggest that there are significant program issues regarding which the public should have an opportunity to comment. For example, last summer the Department reported to Congress that the percentage of eligible families receiving assistance had declined from 84% in AFDC’s last year in 1995 to 40% in TANF in 2005, the most recent year for which the Department had estimated the number of eligible families. The participation rate has likely fallen still further since 2005. Given the severe economic downturn and frighteningly high unemployment rates, it is more important than ever that the TANF program not unfairly exclude eligible families and that policies be set based on evidence and experience about the program’s operation."