ELCA Presiding Bishop Mark Hanson, Bread for the World director David Beckmann and 19 other religious leaders sent a June 12 letter to U.S. senators, urging them to strengthen Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, the main federal welfare program.
Critiquing the House-passed bill as based on outdated formulas that disregard inflation, the leaders asked for increased federal funding for TANF, in a way that ensures "low-income working families have the chance to raise their families out of poverty." They also asked that TANF increase opportunities for participants to get good-paying jobs and give states "realistic options for helping families as they transition from welfare to work."
While the House bill allows TANF participants four months for education and training, the religious leaders called for up to 24 months exclusive participation in education or vocational training, and up to 48 months when education is combined with work.
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