[Excerpt] The pending FY2017 Consolidated Appropriations Act (the proposed House amendment to the Senate amendment to H.R. 244) would extend funding for the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) block grant for the remainder of FY2017 and for FY2018. The bill would also revise the financing and activities of TANF-related research and evaluation. The changes to TANF-related research and evaluation are substantially the same as in a 2016 House-passed bill (H.R. 5170; 114th Congress).
The TANF block grant is best known for providing monthly assistance (often called “welfare”) for needy families with children. However, TANF is a broad-purpose block grant to states, tribes, and territories that provides funds for a wide range of benefits and services to ameliorate and/or address the root causes of childhood economic disadvantage. In addition to monthly assistance, TANF provides funding for work and job preparation activities for needy parents and youth; child care subsidies; earnings supplements, including refundable tax credits; early childhood development programs; and programs for families where children are at risk of, or have been subjected to, abuse and neglect.