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. Ranking Member Kevin Brady of the House Ways and Means Committee introduced companion legislation in the United States House of Representatives.
“Our welfare programs should be a springboard to work and self-sufficiency, not a sinkhole into government dependency,” Daines said. “My bill supports struggling low-income families and equips them with the skills and resources they need to find and keep a job – something that gives them hope, dignity, and a better future.”
“Following the GOP tax cuts, our economy continues to soar, with wages rising at their fastest pace in a decade and near 50-year low unemployment. There are a record 7.3 million job openings, and millions of folks on the sidelines who we need – and want – to take part in this expanding economy. This proposal builds on that by reforming our nation’s cash-for-work welfare program, refocusing this important program on the outcome of parents getting and keeping a job,” Brady said.
To read the full text of the bill, click HERE.
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. The measure will help close the “jobs gap” by connecting job creators with potential workers who are currently on the sidelines.