TANF Alert: National Call-In Week March 29-April 2
Call your senators toll-free at: 1-800-247-2971
A critical time is approaching for Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) reauthorization. The American Friends Service Committee, the National Council of Churches of Christ USA, and the Presbyterian Church U.S.A. (Washington Office) invite you to join us to ensure that the voices of the people most affected and communities of faith are heard.
Last year, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a harsh TANF (welfare) bill. The Senate is likely to vote on a TANF bill this week. On Monday, March 28, and all week, let your senators know that concerned citizens want a TANF bill that will truly help families overcome poverty. Here's how:
Call 1-800-247-2971, which will connect you to the Capitol Hill Switchboard. Ask for your senators' offices.
Ask to speak to the legislative aide handling welfare. Deliver the message below, in your own words.
If you can, call Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle and Senate Finance Committee Chair Charles Grassley as well.
If you get a busy signal, try again: It means the volume of callers is high!
Or call your senators offices' directly (ie, not toll-free). You can find their numbers at: http://www.senate.gov/general/resources/pdf/senators_phone_list.pdf).
Note: The area code for all U.S. Senate offices is (202)
Identify yourself as a constituent. Say that you know a TANF bill is coming up this week,
and that you hope your senator will vote to improve TANF for families in your state. Urge the senator to support these improvements:
1. Vote for Senator Snowe's childcare amendment to add $6 billion in new childcare funding
2. Vote to expand education and training opportunities by supporting Parents as Scholars (postsecondary) provisions, and counting 24 months of vocational education as work
3. Vote to give states more flexibility on extending time limits and allowing more months of services for people with severe disabilities and other barriers to employment
4. Vote to cover health care for lawfully present immigrant children and pregnant women, and to give states the flexibility to use federal dollars for benefits for lawfully present immigrants
5. Reject any increase in the number of hours TANF recipients are required to work (including any increase for parents of preschool children)
6. Reject any amendment to expand "superwaiver" provisions (which would let states waive crucial provisions of low-income programs)
Finally, tell your senator that, if the Senate is unable to improve TANF in these ways, you want him or her to vote for a "clean, two-year extension of current law"
For more information on TANF, please visit http://www.ncccusa.org/publicwitness/tanf-february2004alert.html. (Note: TANF is pronounced "tan-iff.")
For more information on the Direct Action Welfare Group (DAWG) contact (304) 347-9222 or visit our website at www.geocities.com/itsdadawg
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