On November 24, NACo joined a coalition of state and local government associations urging Congress to authorize a one-year extension of the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program through December 31, 2021. Support for TANF is crucial as it provides federal funding to states and county governments to support a wide range of benefits, services and activities to address both the effects and the root causes of poverty. Extending TANF is especially urgent to ensure families and children can continue to access essential services during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
County governments fund and operate a variety of social service programs, investing nearly $58 billion of federal, state and local dollars in services that promote the health and wellbeing of vulnerable children and families. TANF provides essential funding to help state and local governments deliver an array of benefits that help low-income families achieve economic mobility. Although TANF is a partnership between the federal government and states, TANF is county-administered in eight states and increases those counties’ ability to provide critical assistance for vulnerable families.
NACo urges a one-year extension of the TANF program during which lawmakers should negotiate a long-term reauthorization with substantive program improvements and reforms.. Congress last reauthorized TANF in 2005 and has renewed the program through a series of short-term extensions since its expiration in 2010. Most recently, Congress passed the Continuing Resolution, 2021 and other Extensions Act (H.R. 8337) extending TANF through December 11, 2020.
NACo will continue to monitor developments and efforts related to TANF extensions and reauthorizations.