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FYI: Congress officially began the process of punting its reauthorization of Temporary Assistance for Needy Families to next year when it passed a bill this week to once again extend the life of the program it created in 1996. TANF was to expire last fall, but Congress passed a series of temporary extensions because the reauthorization process has proven contentious. The House passed its version of a reauthorization in February, but the full Senate has not yet acted on its version, which passed out of the Finance Committee earlier this month. The House’s extension bill keeps the current program alive until March, and welfare policy lobbyists predict the Senate will follow suit and the law be signed by the end of the federal fiscal year next week. [9/26/03]

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