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When President Bush signed the Deficit Reduction Act on February 8, he also reauthorized Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, the federal legislation that governs welfare. The law strengthens an existing mandate requiring 50 percent of all welfare recipients to work [see “Families on the Line,” 1/17/06]. “The reauthorization … supports the Bush Administration’s goal of ending the crippling cycle of welfare dependency,” said Wade Horn, assistant secretary for Children and Families at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. “Welfare reform is a success because more families and individuals are working and entering the economic mainstream and fewer children are growing up in poverty.” In a statement to City Limits, HRA spokesperson Bob McHugh said the new legislation “incorporates some of the core principles for TANF reauthorization that Mayor Bloomberg laid out for New York City in 2002.” But he expressed disappointment with the level of child care funding. HRA, he wrote, “will continue to seek increases in federal support for child care that will enable us to meet the needs of families on welfare, as well as families transitioning to work.” (M. Risley)

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