By Vicki Needham - 03/23/10 10:45 PM EDT
An extension of the TANF Emergency Fund, which is designed to enable states to create subsidized jobs for low-income workers who might otherwise be unemployed, is needed to continue to create and preserve jobs, according to a report released Tuesday by the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities.
The provision to extend the fund beyond its Sept. 30 expiration date is included in H.R. 4849, a bill that would provide tax relief to small businesses. Action on the measure is expected later this week in the House but the Senate Finance Committee isn't likely to act anytime soon. The bill calls for a one-year extension of the fund.
Without an extension the fund would expire "at a time when unemployment will still be very high and increasing numbers of individuals will have exhausted their unemployment benefits."
States -- there are 30 using the fund -- also would have to dismantle their programs and "many of the 160,000 jobs it has helped create will be lost, and the additional subsidized jobs that small firms would create if additional funding were available will fail to materialize" according to the report.
The fund, which was included in the stimulus bill, "would help create and preserve jobs, support small businesses and strengthen overall demand." The fund also has helped small businesses by "defraying one of their key costs -- employee wages -- thereby enabling many firms to add staff they otherwise could not afford," according to the report.
"The fund has strengthened overall consumer demand by enabling states to respond to the growing need among very poor parents and children for basic cash assistance and short-term, non-recurring needs," the report said.
To view the report click here.