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Lutheran Office for
122 C Street N.W., Suite
INTERRELIGIOUS WORKING GROUP ON DOMESTIC HUMAN NEEDS
July 23, 2003
As the Senate Finance Committee prepares to mark up legislation to reauthorize the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program, we urge you to call for TANF reauthorization that seeks to reduce poverty as its primary goal. This goal is urgent in today’s economy.
The signatories to this letter represent denominations and faith-based organizations that collectively serve millions of Americans. Over the past few years, we have consistently worked to share our priorities regarding TANF reauthorization with Members of Congress. These priorities were selected in keeping with our faith traditions, which consistently express concern for the most vulnerable members of society, including members of our own communities and congregations. Our faith traditions require both individual and social responsibility when addressing the needs of people who are poor. We believe that the suggestions that follow will lead to the reduction of poverty among TANF recipients, allowing their families to achieve greater economic stability.
Some of our priorities are reflected in the draft outline for TANF reauthorization, prepared by the majority staff of the Senate Finance Committee, including:
However, we are extremely disappointed that the Committee’s draft outline fails to address several of our major concerns. We are especially alarmed that it fails to include adequate funding for child care, the restoration of benefits for immigrants, necessary expansion for education and training, and the maintenance of the current work requirement, particularly the work requirement for parents of pre-school children.
We urge you to call for the following changes to the Senate Finance Committee’s draft:
We look forward to your response. If you have questions or concerns, do not hesitate to contact Carolynn Race with the Presbyterian Church (USA) at (202) 543-1126 or Yonce Shelton with Call to Renewal at (202) 328-8745.
American Baptist Churches USA
American Friends Service Committee
Bread for the World
Call to Renewal
Central Conference of American Rabbis
Christian Church (Disciples) Division of Homeland Ministries
Church of the Brethren Washington Office
Church Women United
The Episcopal Church, USA
Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
Friends Committee on National Legislation
The Interfaith Alliance
Mennonite Central Committee U.S. Washington Office
National Advocacy Center of the Sisters of the Good Shepherd
National Council of Churches of Christ in the U.S.A.
NETWORK, a National Catholic Social Justice Lobby
Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) Washington Office
Union of American Hebrew Congregations
Unitarian Universalist Association of Congregations
Unitarian Universalist Service Committee
United Church of Christ Justice and Witness Ministries
United Methodist Church – General Board of Church and Society