Congressman Vern Buchanan

Representing the 16th District of Florida

Buchanan Legislation to Be Signed Into Law Today

May 5, 2017
Press Release
Measure Helps Welfare Recipients Find Jobs

WASHINGTON — Congressman Vern Buchanan’s legislation to help welfare recipients find jobs will be signed into law today by President Trump. 

Buchanan’s bill, which was included in a sweeping government funding bill, directs the U.S. Departments of Labor and Health and Human Services to create a database of state practices that have proved successful in helping people leave welfare. Those best practices would then be made available to officials in all 50 states to be duplicated.

This is Buchanan’s first bill of 2017 to be signed into law. He first introduced the What Works to Move Welfare Recipients into Jobs Act in 2016, and re-introduced it this January.

“A job lifts people out of poverty and gives them hope and independence,” Buchanan said. “We need to find out what’s working around the country so struggling states can copy the successful approaches their neighbors are using.”

The clearinghouse created by Buchanan’s bill would showcase state approaches that have been proven to help people get off the federal government's major welfare program – the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, TANF. The bill provides $10 million for the Census Bureau to develop data on how different approaches affect marriage, work and the well-being of children.

Nationally, 3.7 million people are on TANF and the U.S. spends about $16.5 billion on the program. In Florida, about 80,000 people receive TANF and the state’s TANF block grant is about $562 million each year.

“I want to help people find good-paying jobs and move out of welfare and into employment,” Buchanan said. “My legislation will provide a guidepost across the country for those who want to enter the workforce and become self-sufficient.”

Buchanan, a senior member of the House Ways and Means Committee, wrote four bills that were signed into law during the last session of Congress.