Daines Introduces Bill to Help Low-Income Americans Find Jobs

U.S. SENATE – U.S. Senator Steve Daines today introduced legislation to help low-income families find work. Daines’ bill, the Jobs and Opportunity with Benefits and Services Act or JOBS Act, reauthorizes and modernizes the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program.

“Our welfare programs should be a springboard to work and self-support, not a sinkhole into government dependency,” Daines said. “My bill supports families and offers a pathway to equip every working age American with the skills and resources they need to find and keep a job.”.

Work requirements were a core component of the historic bipartisan welfare reforms in 1996, and proved to drive down welfare caseloads and reduce child poverty. Over the years, however, the work requirements fell flat and were ignored by many states. While current law bases TANF allotments on participation requirements that are routinely avoided, Daines’ bill requires everyone to be working or seeking work.

Daines’ bill will require that the state’s case worker engage with job seekers to help them not only find a job but keep a job. It takes into consideration all aspects of a person’s life including mental health, drug addiction, alcohol addiction and to work with a case worker who will work with them throughout the entire process. The measure will help close the “jobs gap” by connecting job creators with potential workers who are currently on the sidelines.

TANF is set to expire December 7, 2018. A similar bill has passed out of the House Ways and Means Committee (H.R. 5861).

For more information on the bill click HERE.

Statements of support:

Adam Brandon, President, Freedom Works: “Senator Daines’ JOBS Act emphasizes the dignity of work, which will ensure the dollars the federal government spends on TANF actually go towards lifting Americans out of poverty and into sustainable careers. It would extend TANF funding, while implementing common sense reforms that direct funds towards only truly needy Americans, and reforms that make it easy to track the progress and success of TANF recipients. This will make sure every taxpayer dollar spent on this program is used to maximum effectiveness.”

Kim Hawn, Executive Director, Family Connections Montana: As a Child Care Resource and Referral Director, I so appreciated the opportunity to speak with Senator Daines office as they work on the TANF reauthorization. I fully support investing in child care to support the work and educational activities of those receiving assistance. Child care assistance is an essential support to families engaged in work and education activities as they move toward financial independence.”

Opportunities, Inc., Great Falls, Montana: “The TANF program is a valuable asset in helping children and families out of poverty. Addressing the root causes through practical means such as employment support, barrier reduction, and educational support is vital in making any real difference in the lives of the people in our communities. We appreciate the ability to administer this program as we feel it truly makes a difference.”