Senator John Kerry (D-Mass.), co-author of the Senate's legislation to extend the country's current program to provide jobs for parents in need, today applauded Vice President Joe Biden for using his Middle Class Task Force to help provide employers with strong incentives to hire unemployed workers.
Kerry's legislation to extend the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) Emergency Fund, co-authored with Senator Patty Murray (D-Wash.), was blocked by Senate Republicans in March. The bill is likely to be taken up again as part of the American Jobs and Closing Tax Loopholes Act currently before the Senate.
"The middle class is the backbone of our economy, and the road from recession to recovery runs straight through policies to strengthening the middle class," Sen. Kerry said. "The TANF creates 186,000 jobs to lift poor families out of poverty. Two months ago, Sen. Murray and I offered a common-sense amendment that would extend the TANF Emergency Fund and create hundreds of thousands of summer jobs for our nation's youth. It would've passed if only we'd found a Republican vote. After the recess, we get another crack at passing it, and need to make sure the Senate doesn't miss another chance to do the right thing for our economy."
The American Jobs and Closing Tax Loopholes Act includes Senator Kerry's amendment to extend the TANF Emergency Fund for one year and to create 300,000 jobs for youth ages 16 to 24 through summer employment programs.
Massachusetts could receive up to $108 million from the TANF extension to help put struggling families back to work and to provide a vital safety net during this economic downturn. The funding for summer employment programs would create 8,000 jobs for youth in the Commonwealth.