Governors Applaud Extension of TANF Program

The National Governors Association (NGA) applauded Congress and the president for extending the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program through June 30, 2019.

Yesterday, the president signed H.R. 430 TANF Extension Act of 2019 into law providing near-term stability to states operating this critical program and the families they serve.

“We are pleased to see Congress and the White House worked quickly to extend this critical program,” said Scott D. Pattison, NGA CEO and executive director. “While short-term extensions can be challenging for states, we are committed to working with Congress on a long-term reauthorization that provides certainty for states and families.”

The National Governors Association, on behalf of the 55 state and territorial governors and the residents they serve, has been advocating for TANF since the partial federal government shutdown that began last December endangered benefits to 1 million adults and 2.5 million children.

In a letter to congressional leadership Jan. 21, Oregon Governor Kate Brown and Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker, the chair and vice chair of the NGA Health and Human Services Committee, observed that some states were at risk of exhausting carryover funds for the program.

The NGA has consistently called on the president and Congress to end the partial government shutdown, which has had negative impacts on states beyond TANF. In a joint letter Jan. 24 with the other six organizations representing state and local governments, the NGA noted that the shutdown has jeopardized economic growth, nutrition assistance, airport security, infrastructure development, public housing, homelessness assistance, disaster aid, rural development, emergency training and response grants, the safety of the food system, the federal court system, implementation of 5G technology, the safety of national parks, Native American communities, coastal security and more.