You probably haven’t heard of the TANF Emergency Fund, a program tucked into the massive $787 billion Feb. 2009 stimulus, but the administration considered it
You probably haven’t heard of the TANF Emergency Fund, a program tucked into the massive $787 billion Feb. 2009 stimulus, but the administration considered it so successful that it requested its extension into next year, with an estimated cost of $2.5 billion.
With TEF, the federal government offered to reimburse states for 80 percent of the cost of job-subsidy or certain public assistance programs. Thirty-seven states took the government up on it, leading to the hiring of 240,000 previously unemployed workers nationwide.
The House voted twice to extend the funding. The Senate failed to pass either extension. That means that when the fund expires on Sept. 30, the subsidy will go away and tens of thousands of workers will lose their jobs and move onto the unemployment rolls.
The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities summarized some of the Emergency Fund’s achievements. One county in Tennessee used TEF funding to bring its unemployment rate from 27.3 to 18.6 percent in eight months. North Dakota used it to provide jobs for jobless parents without the means to pay their child support. South Carolina used it to give jobs to parents who would otherwise collect welfare. Illinois provided 20,000 jobs, 67 percent more than its goal. Alabama used it to gin up rural jobs.
Today, Sen. Bob Casey (D-Pa.) held a hearing to urge the TEF’s reauthorization. (Pennsylvania’s program, called Way to Work, led 4,200 businesses to hire 12,000 people. 3,000 will lose their jobs on Sept. 30, absent Congressional action.) Employers and employees who benefited from the program, scholars at think tanks, union leaders and Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter all argued for it. Casey is looking for a vehicle for the funding, but the chances seem dim.
EPA Administrator Addresses Concerns About Oil Spill Waste Management
At a hearing of the national oil spill commission today, Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson addressed concerns about waste disposal from
EPA administrator defends allowing Florida to write its own water pollution rules
The EPA seal (Pic via sentryjournal.com) The Environmental Protection Agency has come under fire for its decision to allow the state of Florida to write its own water pollution rules (known as “numeric nutrient criteria”). EPA Regional Administrator Gwendolyn Keyes Fleming is now firing back, writing that the Agency commends the state Department of Environmental Protection for its draft of a proposed standard. A host of environmental groups filed suit in 2008, seeking to compel the EPA to implement a strict set of water pollution standards in Florida, arguing that the state was in violation of the Clean Water Act.
E-Verify Mandate Begins Today
The Obama administration today begins implementation of a new mandate to require all federal contractors to check the legal status of their employees to confirm
EPA administrator fires back at critics in op-ed
EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson (Pic by USACEpublicaffairs, via Flickr) EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson penned a new op-ed for the Los Angeles Times , criticizing House Republicans desperately seeking to undermine the authority of the agency they have dubbed a “job killer.” Arguing that the environment affects red states and blue states alike, Jackson writes that “it is time for House Republicans to stop politicizing our air and water.” As head of the Environmental Protection Agency, Jackson has faced harsh criticism from House Republicans and GOP presidential candidates who say the agency’s regulations are an undue burden on businesses that have to cut jobs simply to comply with clean water and air rules. Presidential hopeful Michele Bachmann has pledged to end the EPA if she takes office. “Since the beginning of this year, Republicans in the House have averaged roughly a vote every day the chamber has been in session to undermine the Environmental Protection Agency and our nation’s environmental laws,” writes Jackson.
EPA administrator says federal nutrient criteria is a ‘myth’
In testimony given late last week, EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson said that false accusations about her agency’s numeric nutrient criteria to govern Florida waterways are proving to be a detriment to their implementation. # Testifying before the House Agriculture Committee, Jackson said her agency’s work was often “mischaracterized” and addressed several myths surrounding its work
EPA and California Near Deal on Fuel Efficiency Standards
Two weeks ago, the Obama administration raised fuel efficiency standards by an average of two miles per gallon -- a modest change that disappointed some
EPA: BP Has 24 Hours to Find a Less Toxic Chemical Dispersant
Thought the massive quantities of oil pouring into the Gulf of Mexico were the only major threat to the country’s southeast coastal waters right now? Think
EPA announces hold on nutrient standards if Florida can come up with own criteria
The EPA announced today that it is now prepared to withdraw a portion of its proposed numeric nutrient criteria (a set of standards governing water pollution in inland waters) and delay the portion related to estuarine waters, to allow the state Department of Environmental Protection to develop its own criteria. # From a statement released by the EPA earlier today: # EPA recognizes that states have the primary role in establishing and implementing water quality standards for their waters. Therefore, EPA is prepared to withdraw the federal inland standards and delay the estuarine standards if FDEP adopts, and EPA approves, their own protective and scientifically sound numeric standards
EPA Chief Overruled Calif. Waiver, Too
The Washington Post reported in March that EPA Administrator Stephen Johnson was overruled by the White House in setting an ozone standard. Now, documents