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Public Statements

Senator Santorum Announces TANF Reauthorization

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Location: Washington, DC


Senator Santorum Announces TANF Reauthorization

President Bush signed Deficit Reduction Act of 2005 into law today

U.S. Senator Rick Santorum (R-PA), Chairman of the Senate Republican Conference, today praised his Congressional colleagues and President Bush for signing into law the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005 (DRA), which includes provisions that reauthorize Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) and provides funding for the promotion of healthy marriage and fatherhood.

"I believe the 1996 welfare reform law is one of the great legislative successes during my time here in the U.S. Senate. I am pleased that we have reauthorized this program, which will continue to build upon the successes of previously enacted welfare reform," said Senator Santorum, who has tirelessly worked to move forward on the reauthorization of TANF. "The reauthorization of TANF will allow millions of Americans, and thousands of Pennsylvanians, to replace dependency on government with the dignity and opportunity of work."

Specifically, the law:

· Reauthorizes the welfare program through fiscal year 2010 at its current funding level of $16.9 billion annually

· Provides an additional $1 billion for childcare over five years for a total of $2.917 billion annually

· Updates work participation rates to the more relevant date of 2005, ensuring that the intent of the 1996 welfare reform act that at least half of all welfare recipients engage in work activities is realized

· Does not change the current work requirements and maintains the current-law activities that count as work; includes provisions that increase states' ability to improve child support collection

· Allows $423 million owed to families on welfare and those who have left welfare to go directly to those families - a significant improvement over current law

· Provides $100 million for grants to ensure that the safety, permanence and well-being needs of children are met in a timely manner through the child welfare system

· Increases the Safe and Stable Families program to $200 million for community-based family support services for family preservation services, family reunification services, and adoption promotion.

DRA also provides $100 million annually for healthy marriage promotion, and $50 million annually for the promotion of responsible fatherhood.

"Children growing up in married, two-parent homes are less likely to be victims of abuse, engage in high-risk behaviors, and suffer from emotional problems -- the studies are overwhelming. Therefore it is important that we communicate the value of the role of families and fatherhood in our society," said Senator Santorum. "This important funding will create opportunities to strengthen families through various programs which support marriage and responsible fatherhood."

"Throughout my service in the U.S. Senate, I have worked to implement programs designed to decrease the hardships that far too many Americans endure," said Senator Santorum. "I think that the Deficit Reduction Act as it relates to welfare reform is a step in the right direction, and I remain committed to ensuring that work remains a gateway to opportunity for all Americans."

http://santorum.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?FuseAction=PressOffice.View&ContentRecord_id=1667&Region_id=0&Issue_id=0

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