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8th September
written by naehblog

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: we can – and must – save the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) Emergency Contingency Fund (ECF).

And we’re not the only ones that think so. In the last few days, you may have noticed that the innocuous welfare program has received an unusual amount of ink. Stories praising the job-creating program have run in the Chicago Tribune and Huffington Post – among countless other publications.

We hate to say we told you so but we did call it. This stimulus program is making a difference where it’s needed most: offering cash assistance to low-income families, providing housing aid, and subsidizing jobs. In fact, the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities estimates that the program has created 250,000 subsidized jobs for low-income parents and youth across the country.

But the program is about to come to a grinding halt. TANF ECF will expire on September 30 if Congress doesn’t act now.

We need you to tell them how.

Senator John Kerry (D-MA) is circulating a sign-on letter for his colleagues in the Senate to join. He wants them to sign the letter to urge Senate leaders to extend the ECF right away and provide a one-year, $2.5 billion extension of ECF to allow states to access additional funds and continue subsidizing jobs for low-income families and youth.

Want to know what you can do?

  • Call your senators TODAY (If you don’t know the number, you can find out by calling the Congressional Switchboard at 202-224-3121).
  • Ask to speak to the person who handles welfare issues for the senator.
  • Urge the welfare staff member to get their boss to sign onto Senator Kerry’s sign-on letter.

But act now! The deadline for senators to join the sign-on letter is next Wednesday, September 15 at noon ET.

For more information, check out previous entries on the blog and the website.



  1. Susana Vieira

    Please do not halt the TANF program, as it is the only way a poor family can survive.
    DO extend the ECF right away. The last hope for poor families.

  2. [...] about the effort – and to find out how you can contact YOUR senator – check out a previous post. [...]

  3. [...] With need so high, this is exactly the wrong time to be rising the elimination of TANF ECF. This job-creating service to the most vulnerable families is in danger of expiring at the end of the month. We’ve written about it before and there are daily stories cropping up the program’s importance. It seems that the program may be seeing rays of hope – but that doesn’t mean you should rest on your laurels. If you haven’t already (and you better have!) call your senator today. [...]