Congress has just one week to extend an emergency jobs program that has provided subsidized jobs for 45,000 otherwise unemployed parents and youth in California and nearly 250,000 across the nation. The Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) Emergency Fund will expire on September 30 unless Congress votes to extend it. Our colleagues at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP) note that the Emergency Fund has been a “win-win-win,” helping “unemployed families find work, businesses expand capacity in a difficult economic environment, and local economies cope with the recession.” As we previously described, California has used its share of these funds to create 20,000 jobs for low-income adults, as well as an additional 25,000 summer jobs for youth. With the state’s unemployment rate stuck above 12 percent, it’s more important than ever for policymakers to do more to keep the recovery going. By extending the TANF Emergency Fund, policymakers will ensure that thousands of Californians – and thousands more in other states – are able to keep working during these difficult economic times.
— Scott Graves