I’ve written before about the importance of extending the TANF Emergency Fund, which is now projected to create more than 245,000 jobs before it expires on September 30. Contrary to the claims of some Members of Congress, the majority of these jobs are in the private sector, as the New York Times points out today. Extending the Fund would allow states to maintain and expand programs that provide jobs to the unemployed while aiding small businesses struggling to stay afloat, as well as continue providing emergency assistance to families in crisis.
Yesterday the Ways and Means Committee in the House introduced H.R. 5893, the “Investing in American Jobs and Closing Tax Loopholes Act,” which would extend the TANF Emergency Fund through FY 2011 as the “Emergency Fund for Job Creation and Assistance.” The bill contains additional measures to promote job creation, including extensions of the Build America Bonds and Recovery Zone Bonds programs, and its cost is fully offset.
H.R. 5893 is expected to go to the House floor today or tomorrow before the August recess. Chances for passage look promising, as the House has passed an Emergency Fund extension twice before. We applaud the House’s persistent efforts to continue this vital program. With new OMB projections indicating that unemployment will remain at or above 9 percent through 2011, it’s time for the Senate to follow suit.