Magazine article Nation's Cities Weekly

Senate Passes Child Care Amendment to TANF: The Amendment to TANF Will Provide $6 Billion over Five Years in Mandatory Child Care Funds

Magazine article Nation's Cities Weekly

Senate Passes Child Care Amendment to TANF: The Amendment to TANF Will Provide $6 Billion over Five Years in Mandatory Child Care Funds

Article excerpt

The National League of Cities saw a big victory on the Senate floor this week, when the Snowe-Dodd amendment passed by an overwhelming 78-20 vote.

Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-Maine) and Sen. Christopher Dodd (D-Conn.) co-sponsored an amendment to the Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) reauthorization legislation to provide $6 billion over five years in mandatory child care funds.

The funds will be available to families leaving welfare for work and for low-income working families.

Increased child care funding and welfare reauthorization has been a legislative priority for the NLC for the last three years.

"Without this amendment that goal is unachievable--you can not go from welfare to work without child care," said Dodd of the welfare bill's goal to get people into the workplace.

"The bottom line is that this measure, quite simply, is recognition of realities. If we want the nearly 5 million people who remain on welfare caseloads to be able to transition off of welfare and remain off welfare, they must have access to quality. affordable child care," said Snowe upon the amendment's passage.

According to a 2002 Economic Policy Institute study, single mothers with young children who receive child care assistance are 40 percent more likely to be employed after two years than mothers who do not receive assistance.

The extension of Customs User Fees, fees collected on imported goods, will offset the cost of the bill and add nothing to the federal deficit. …

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