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house Bill H.R. 2842

Should States Test a Wage Subsidy Aimed at Getting People on Welfare Into Long-Term Employment With Federal Grants?

Argument in favor

The grants this bill would make available would help states experiment with a wage subsidy that makes it easier for people to move from being on welfare to long-term employment.

Elizabeth's Opinion
···
06/23/2017
I vote yea, but with qualifications. I have worked with public assistance participants for 30 years, and I have yet to have anyone ask me, or any of the families I have served, our opinions. Many of my clients DO work, some of them work more than one job. The problem is that their jobs don't provide them with enough income to meet their needs, much less build up a nest egg to meet unexpected expenses such as car repairs. They live so close to the margins, from crisis to crisis, that one unexpected event starts a tailspin. For example, a single mom with a low paying job pays a huge percentage of her income to keep a roof over her head. If the car she uses to get to work breaks down, she has to choose between repairing her car so she can get to work, or paying her rent and utilities. If she doesn't repair the car, she may lose the job. If she repairs the car, she may lose her housing. If she has no benefits, a case of the flu puts the family in crisis again. There is never enough funding for child care, another huge issue for low income families. If you only make $2000 per month, but your child care costs $1400 per month, the remainder isn't enough to pay for basic needs such as rent and utilities. The problem with subsidized wage programs is that it presumes that companies need to be "paid" to hire people on welfare, and this is just not true. Most of my clients have no problem getting jobs, but for reasons such as those I listed, they wind up quitting or losing those jobs. If subsidized wages encourage companies to retain employees as they work toward stability, then I am in favor.
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Marie's Opinion
···
06/23/2017
Welfare isn't meant to be forever, and this solution is much better than kicking famimies off of assistance and leaving them on the streets.
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Ben's Opinion
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06/22/2017
If this gets people into a long term career and pays a living wage for the area, I support it. To help prevent recidivism, add in a money management course.
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Argument opposed

This bill should focus on strengthening the food stamps program rather than experimenting with programs aimed at getting people into jobs that allow them to support themselves.

Expat's Opinion
···
06/23/2017
How about a $15 minimum wage so working people don't need assistance.
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A's Opinion
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06/22/2017
We should be focusing on making jobs pay a living wage before you push more people to train for jobs that don't pay a living wage to get them off welfare.
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OlderNWiser's Opinion
···
06/23/2017
This is another thinly veiled assault on the disabled, on the poor. This administration loves nothing better than taking money out of the pockets of the poor and the middle class to give to the obscenely wealthy. As a counselor of poor and disabled people in the healthcare clinic I didn't have people telling me that they didn't want to work – quite the opposite. Many conditions make it impossible to work in today's pressured work place such as chronic pain, disabling illnesses including Brain illness called mental illness, not to mention the disability and PTSD of having served in too many wars. Just as Trump care is trump uncaring, so means tests are a vicious attack on survival of those who aren't the fittest. This is acting out of hatred of the poor and middle-class by the wealthiest among us.no, no, no – no means test.
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bill Progress


  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The senate has not voted
      senate Committees
      Committee on Finance
  • The house Passed June 23rd, 2017
    Roll Call Vote 377 Yea / 34 Nay
      house Committees
      Worker and Family Support
      Committee on Ways and Means
    IntroducedJune 8th, 2017

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What is House Bill H.R. 2842?

This bill would require that $100 million in grants be made available under the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program to states for demonstration projects that provide wage subsidies enabling low-income individuals to enter and retain employment. At least one such program would need to be an apprenticeship program.

States would be able to use grant funds to subsidize an individual’s wages for up to 12 months. The subsidy could be up to 50 percent of an individual’s wages. Individuals would be eligible if they:

  • Are recipients of TANF or similar state assistance or a noncustodial parent of a child receiving such assistance;

  • Are unemployed when the subsidy begins;

  • Have an income below 200 percent of the federal poverty line (about $24,000 for an individual or over $48,000 for a family of four).

States would be required to ensure that participants in subsidized job programs don’t displace current workers. The ACF would be required to reserve funding to carry out this legislation from amounts in the Contingency Fund for State Welfare Programs.

Impact

People on TANF who would receive a wage subsidy for participating in pilot projects to help them find long-term employment; and state governments.

Cost of House Bill H.R. 2842

A CBO cost estimate is unavailable, but this legislation doesn’t authorize new spending and instead uses already appropriated funds.

More Information

In-Depth: Sponsoring Rep. Carlos Curbelo (R-FL) introduced this bill to give states the ability to conduct demonstration projects aimed at helping low-income individuals enter the workforce and maintain their employment long-term:

“This bill also empowers local communities by giving the ability to control how TANF dollars are spent. Instead of an inflexible, Washington-designed program, this legislation is reflective of the fat that every community has unique challenges that present barriers to finding a job.”

This legislation passed the House Ways and Means Committee on a voice vote, and it has the support of one Republican and one Democratic cosponsor in the House.

 

Media:

Summary by Eric Revell

(Photo Credit: University of the Fraser Valley via Flickr / Creative Commons)

AKA

Accelerating Individuals into the Workforce Act

Official Title

To provide for the conduct of demonstration projects to test the effectiveness of subsidized employment for TANF recipients.

    I vote yea, but with qualifications. I have worked with public assistance participants for 30 years, and I have yet to have anyone ask me, or any of the families I have served, our opinions. Many of my clients DO work, some of them work more than one job. The problem is that their jobs don't provide them with enough income to meet their needs, much less build up a nest egg to meet unexpected expenses such as car repairs. They live so close to the margins, from crisis to crisis, that one unexpected event starts a tailspin. For example, a single mom with a low paying job pays a huge percentage of her income to keep a roof over her head. If the car she uses to get to work breaks down, she has to choose between repairing her car so she can get to work, or paying her rent and utilities. If she doesn't repair the car, she may lose the job. If she repairs the car, she may lose her housing. If she has no benefits, a case of the flu puts the family in crisis again. There is never enough funding for child care, another huge issue for low income families. If you only make $2000 per month, but your child care costs $1400 per month, the remainder isn't enough to pay for basic needs such as rent and utilities. The problem with subsidized wage programs is that it presumes that companies need to be "paid" to hire people on welfare, and this is just not true. Most of my clients have no problem getting jobs, but for reasons such as those I listed, they wind up quitting or losing those jobs. If subsidized wages encourage companies to retain employees as they work toward stability, then I am in favor.
    Like (154)
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    How about a $15 minimum wage so working people don't need assistance.
    Like (125)
    Follow
    Share
    We should be focusing on making jobs pay a living wage before you push more people to train for jobs that don't pay a living wage to get them off welfare.
    Like (97)
    Follow
    Share
    This is another thinly veiled assault on the disabled, on the poor. This administration loves nothing better than taking money out of the pockets of the poor and the middle class to give to the obscenely wealthy. As a counselor of poor and disabled people in the healthcare clinic I didn't have people telling me that they didn't want to work – quite the opposite. Many conditions make it impossible to work in today's pressured work place such as chronic pain, disabling illnesses including Brain illness called mental illness, not to mention the disability and PTSD of having served in too many wars. Just as Trump care is trump uncaring, so means tests are a vicious attack on survival of those who aren't the fittest. This is acting out of hatred of the poor and middle-class by the wealthiest among us.no, no, no – no means test.
    Like (52)
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    At face value, this seems like a good idea. However, most people on assistance already work, often multiple jobs. When will they do these training programs? And the amount of funds allocated seems too small to make a meaningful difference for everyone.
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    These funds would be better spent if the subsidies were used to provide financial support while the applicant is retrained in a field that will provide long term quality employment rather than providing support for only one year.
    Like (34)
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    So we're only going to give support to people in low wage jobs for just one year and then they're on their own? Not sure how exactly this legislation is supposed to help low income Americans in the long term. We should be spending money retraining people for higher wage jobs rather then spending money temporarily subsidizing low paid work.
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    Welfare isn't meant to be forever, and this solution is much better than kicking famimies off of assistance and leaving them on the streets.
    Like (22)
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    NO NEW GRANTS!!! MAKE SPENDING CUTS INSTEAD! START BY SHRINKING THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT! Text of bill (10 pages): https://www.congress.gov/115/bills/hr2842/BILLS-115hr2842rh.pdf
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    You had 8 years to dream up all the ways you were going to make this world a better place by (R) standards. This is sad. If this is the best both parties can give us, it's time to reflect and remember you're both arms of the same body instead of wasting all your time trying to amputate each other. One party is without question as corrupt as the other - but WOW! At least the Dems make an effort of implying there's some concern for the people. You guys may as well just flip us the bird after you win.....at least that's honest. Then go plant a big wet kiss right on your "contributors" bare asses.....
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    If this gets people into a long term career and pays a living wage for the area, I support it. To help prevent recidivism, add in a money management course.
    Like (17)
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    Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, and you feed him for a lifetime. We need education not dependency. Put them to work and they will stand with dignity. Throwing money at the problem accomplishes nothing.
    Like (12)
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    There are currently millions of jobs unfilled because employers are unable to find qualified applicants to fill them. If this would provide a vehicle for needy persons to get training and the companies that hire them get a break on the wages paid, it could be a win/win. Worth the effort to try but should have some controls so the money doesn't get siphoned off to other programs as frequently happens.,
    Like (11)
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    This plan would help people get off welfare, which is better for the government paying for it AND better for them. No one wants to be on welfare.
    Like (10)
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    Just another spinoff on a race for $15.00.
    Like (9)
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    Experiment with raising taxes on Billionaires to see how the economy and our government do
    Like (8)
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    Not everyone who receives assistance is lazy. My son suffers from schizophrenia=it is just too difficult for him to hold down a job. He has tried. He, like many with mental illnesses, go on and off their meds hoping things will get better. They only get worse. But how can a sick mind know that it is sick. All you heartless republicans want to do is punish disabled people. I worked 2 and 3 jobs raising my children without assistance. I wish you republicans weren't so selfish!
    Like (7)
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    Any way to get people off of assistance. It's hard to do. Any help they can get.
    Like (6)
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    If Congress had the courage to raise the minimum wage to a reasonable level at which employees could provide for their families, there might not be a need for a program like that.
    Like (6)
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    This can't be a serious proposal can it⁉️ Surely some numbskull made this up as a joke right⁉️ I thought I was having a bad dream when I read this proposal, it's insulting😡❗️It must have been a progressive liberal socialist dimwit who dreamt this up who believes you can spend your way out of debt, right❓I mean you can't make this stuff up, it's so outlandishly stupid it's hard to grasp! Subsidize able bodied workers on the dole, who are sitting on their asses, with the tax dollars paid by those of us who do work to subsidize people who don't...come-on people, it's insane👎No wonder we're 20 trillion dollars in debt...scrap this to the junk heap where it belongs with all of the other Alinski crapola being espoused and supported by Pelosi, Wyden, Merkley, Schumer, DeFazio, and Schrader, and remember their names the next time you vote and vote them out of office❗️Enough is enough😡❗️
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