Changes in TANF in President Trump's budget

President Trump's Budget


February 10th, 2020


Yesterday, President Trump released his proposed budget, which would push tens of millions of Americans deeper into poverty and cause widespread hardship. The budget would reduce the TANF block grant by 10%, eliminate the Contingency Fund, and would create a new demonstration that would test merging funding streams from different programs. Altogether, the budget would cut about $20 billion from the TANF program over ten years. The budget also

proposes to eliminate the $1.7 billion Social Services Block Grant. These proposals are similar to what we’ve seen in past budgets from the Trump Administration.


This just in from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities:

The budget also proposes changes to how the states can spend their TANF funds and changes to work programs and outcome measures. Most of these proposals cannot be done without a change to federal TANF law. Under this budget:


  • State must spend at least 30% of funds on work programs, work supports, and child care. Half of the 30% (or 15% of total spending) must be spent on work programs.

  • TANF funds must be spent on families at or below 200% of the federal poverty line.

  • The Administration would seek to change ACF’s authority to clarify the allowable uses of TANF funds so that spending is directly related to the four purposes of TANF.

  • The Work Participation Rate (WPR) would be replaced with universal engagement where all work-eligible individuals would be expected to work or participate in work activities for 20 hours a week.

  • The Administration would institute an employment outcome measure and phase out the WPR.

  • More detail can be found in HHS’ Budget Justification starting on page 355. The state tables can be found on pages 367-368.


The Family incomes support team and the rest of CBPP will continue to analyze the budget’s proposed changes. Stay tuned to our website, blog, twitter feed, and this newsletter. You can also join a Coalition on Human Needs webinar this

Thursday to learn more about the budget.


Susan C. Antos

She/Her/Hers pronouns

Senior Attorney

Public Benefits Advocacy & Litigation

Empire Justice Center


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